Heinrich Haussler is racing to support Cervélo TestTeam's chances of a stage victory this week at the Tour of Missouri. The team is being led in the United States by Norwegian Thor Hushovd, winner of a stage and the points classification at the Tour de France in July.
"Our goal is to get as many stage wins as possible," Haussler told Cyclingnews. "I would like to finish of the season with a really good race here at the Tour of Missouri. One or two stages wins for Thor would be nice."
Norway's Hushovd finished second on Missouri's first stage to Tour rival Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC), in St. Louis yesterday. Haussler led the team's sprint train through the last corner and gave control to teammate Brett Lancaster.
Haussler crashed in the final metres of the stage, but was not injured and is and ready to continue. Today's 180.9-kilometre stage to Cape Girardeau should end in a group sprint. Major time differences in the overall classification are expected to come on Friday, during the 30-kilometre time trial in Sedalia.
"Brett Lancaster could have a chance in the overall if he rides a good time trial. He rode well last week in the Poitou Charentes," continued Haussler.
Lancaster finished second in the Tour du Poitou Charentes' stage three time trial and third overall in the race. Haussler himself won the race's fifth and final stage.
The Poitou Charentes win was Haussler's sixth of the season. He won two stages at the Volta ao Algarve and one stage at the Paris-Nice stage race in the spring. Those results were followed by two second-place finishes at two of cycling's monuments: Milan-San Remo and Ronde van Vlaanderen.
Haussler believes the second part of his season went just as well. He won the Tour de France's thirteenth stage to Colmar after a long escape that saw him ride solo for the final 50 kilometres.
"I did not expect to win a stage at the Tour de France because we went into the Tour with Carlos [Sastre] and Thor as the two captains," he said. "My stage win was a big bonus, it was my biggest career win so far and meant a lot to me."
Haussler will travel back to Australia for 10 days to spend time with is family at the end of the season, before he returns to Europe to re-commence training for 2010. Arriving to top form early this spring, Haussler said he will prepare for the Classics with a similar program of winter training to that of last year.
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