Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam) is caught struggling with the German cycling federation with regard to his participation in the World Championships. Haussler has said that in the future he will only ride for his native country of Australia, instead of his adopted country of Germany. But the German federation (Bund Deutsche Radfahrer, BDR) isn't giving up without a fight and has already nominated him for this year's Worlds taking place in Mendrisio, Switzerland.
Haussler was born in Australia to a German father and an Australian mother, and has dual citizenship. Now 25 years old, he moved to Germany at age 14 to pursue a cycling career. He has ridden for the German national team in the past, but not in the last two years.
Haussler has said that he intends to move back to Australia when his career is over and feels more Australian than German. He would therefore prefer to ride for Australia, and will be eligible to do so in 2010, when perhaps not so coincidentally, the World championships will take place in Melbourne.
The Germans aren't giving up, especially in light of Haussler's win of Tour de France stage 13 last week. “We have a definite appointment. We will talk with him no later than at the Hamburg Cyclassics in August,” BDR vice president Udo Sprenger told the dpa news agency. “I don't think the final word has been said yet,” said BDR president Rudolf Scharping.
Not so, according to Cervélo team manager Thomas Campana. “The decision has long since been made,” he told the Süddeutsche Zeitung. “And Heinrich doesn't have the World Championship this year in his plans at all.”
Part of the reason for Haussler's decision is the current atmosphere with regard to cycling in Germany. Haussler made his breakthrough this year, and has too often heard, “now he is winning, that means he must be doping,” Campana said. “He is very emotional, that kind of talk hurts him.”