Garmin-Cervelo's Heinrich Haussler confident ahead of Saturday's Milan-Sanremo
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Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Garmin-Cervelo's Heinrich Haussler confident ahead of Saturday's Milan-Sanremo

by Jered Gruber at 4:25 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
Australian rider recovering well from Paris-Nice crashes, ready for his first season goal

Heinrich Haussler, the 2009 Milano-Sanremo runner-up by three centimeters, has had a perfect lead up throughout the winter as well as the spring season. With everything in line, the Australian has set his sights entirely on this Saturday's revenge date in Sanremo.

Haussler will be part of a powerful Garmin-Cervelo squad that will head into the day with three legitimate chances for victory: Haussler, World Champion Thor Hushovd, and Tyler Farrar.

Haussler and Hushovd both came agonizingly close to victory in 2009. Normally, the attention goes to Haussler as the almost winner, as it was he who lost the win on the line, as a blazing Cavendish chased him down with only centimeters to spare. Things could have been substantially different had Haussler and Hushovd connected, though, as was their original goal. Had Hushovd been on Haussler's wheel at the appointed time, there's little doubt that Hushovd would have had the gas to come around and take the win. Of course, that's neither here nor there, but it further goes to underline just how good the Garmin-Cervelo options are, especially on the side of Haussler, who will be a threat not only in the sprint, but also on the final climb of the Poggio as well.

First off, the 2009 Tour de France stage winner has to recover from an arduous Race to the Sun.

"I'm heading into the next week and taking it a little quieter," writes Haussler on his website. "I have to recover from my injuries and a very tough Paris-Nice first. When Saturday comes, however, it's over with the quiet before the storm - it's time for Milano-Sanremo, my first highlight of the season."

Looking back at this year's Paris-Nice, Haussler can't quite decide if he's happy or annoyed. His obvious form showed in numerous top finishes, but the luck just wasn't quite there, as he couldn't quite convert that form into victory. It's something he's really hoping to do this Saturday in Sanremo.

"It was a crazy race this past week in Nice. On the one hand, I took the green jersey as the points winner, which I wasn't able to do two years ago. On the other side, though, I wasn't able to get a hoped for stage win. I missed out on a stage win on three different occasions - and that irritates me."

Considering the injuries Haussler endured throughout the 2010 season, his bumps and bruises accumulated from a tough week in France aren't too serious. Some rest and care should have the German/Australian ready to go for a chance to avenge his devastating loss from 2009 in Sanremo.

"Now, I have to take care of myself. The crashes from the last week have taken something from the left side of my body. Overall, I didn't suffer any serious injuries though."

While Haussler's injuries aren't too tough to manage, his teammate, Martin Maaskant, didn't get away with such luck.

"At this time, I'm of course thinking about my Dutch teammate, Martijn Maaskant. In his crash on the seventh stage, he broke seven ribs and suffered other injuries as well. I wish him a quick recovery and hope that he'll be back soon."

With hopes that his teammate will be back racing again soon, Haussler directs his attention back to one of his dreams - La Primavera.

"On Thursday or Friday, I'll head to Milano. I'm confident - I've trained very well, and I've noticed in the races, that my form is there. Cross your fingers for me for the 298 kilometers from Milano to Sanremo on the Ligurian Coast.

It will certainly be interesting to see how the Garmin-Cervelo team uses its three aces. Will Haussler act as a joker and try his hand on the Poggio, or can we expect to see one of the more impressive leadouts ever assembled...can you imagine Hushovd, Haussler, and Farrar all lined up inside the final two kilometers? 


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