It was the first time Heinrich Haussler attended the official Tour de France route presentation in Paris' Palis des Congrès yesterday, and the German-Australian rider was impressed. Seated in the front row beside his team leader Thor Hushovd, Haussler had all the reasons to be present, as he won a stage in the Tour this year and fully revealed his potential since his joining Cervélo TestTeam in 2009.
"A lot has changed for me this year," Haussler told Cyclingnews before the presentation began, and after it was finished, his first impressions of the 2010 route were good.
"It's definitely going to be an exciting Tour," he said. "The first few days will be very nervous with the Classics climbs in Belgium and then the pavés in France. That will provide for some very intense racing. Personally, I love the cobblestones, so I'm looking forward to it!"
Haussler has always had a soft spot for the cobblestone classics since he finished 25th at his first appearance in Paris-Roubaix in 2005. This year, he won stage 13 at the Tour de France after placing second at the Tour of Flanders and Milano-Sanremo respectively. His best result in Paris-Roubaix was seventh, also achieved in 2009.
The Tour de France will pay a visit to the Ardennes Classics as well as the cobblestone sectors of Paris-Roubaix next year. Stage three to Arenberg will see the riders battle it out on seven pavé sections for a total of 13.2 kilometres of cobblestones before the day finishes just outside the famous Tranchée d'Arenberg.
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