After a 2017 season that included just a dozen days of racing, two knee surgeries, a bout of depression and finally a re-dedication to the sport, Heinrich Haussler was hoping this year would be his path back to the top. On Monday he suffered a crash in training, however, adding a fractured collarbone to the litany of injuries he's suffered in recent years.
The Australian was training near his home in Germany when the crash occurred, "his last specific training workout" before heading to the Dubai Tour, according to the team.
“I was fortunate enough to get to the hospital quickly and treated very well on arrival but unfortunately the fracture was confirmed," Haussler said. "I’m pretty confident and very determined that I’ll be back on the bike very soon. My form was very good as I had a great training camp with the team in the past few weeks in Calpe. The only bad thing is that I can’t be with the team now and race in Dubai."
Haussler was at the end of his one-year contract with the team and desperately trying to salvage his career late last season when he returned from rehabilitating his knee. Months of dedicated training and a 15th place in the Cyclassic Hamburg was enough to score him a one-year extension with Bahrain-Merida.
He now is determined to resume racing as quickly as possible.
"I feel and believe that this is just a small setback compared with what I’ve been through last year. I’m not really worried, was a bit unfortunate, but the determination is higher than ever, and I’ll be back soon."
General manager Brent Copeland kept his faith in Haussler throughout the last season, and admits that the latest incident is 'unfortunate". "His physical condition was really coming on well and both the medical staff and the technical staff were very pleased with his progress," Copeland said. "However, as always we like to look at the bright side of these circumstances and it is still early in the season and once the operation is completed we are sure Heinrich will be back to competition as soon as the medical staff give the go ahead, he is determined and positive minded as always and this is what makes us believe he will be back racing with the best as soon as he recovers."
Haussler is due to undergo surgery on Tuesday.