By Bjorn Haake in Ponferrada
Heinrich Haussler is edging closer and closer to taking his second stage win in the Vuelta a España to go with his win in 2005. He finished third in stage 16 behind Tom Boonen; and was in the stage winning break during stage 15.
Unfortunately Haussler was unable to match the climbing ability of his fellow break-away companions in stage 15, eventually finishing seven minutes down on the winner. But with two strong performances in two days, the writing looks to be on the wall for a win.
"I really didn't mean to go into the break yesterday, as I am not a climber," he said. "The last climb was really hard, so I tried to get away before that. I attacked four or five times." Haussler was hoping that the move would stick while the others played a tactical game. "Sometimes the others look at each other and nobody wants to pull."
Like Nick Nuyens (Cofidis), Haussler noticed the Spaniards working well together, making it harder for the foreigners to win. "If the race was in Germany, the German riders would do it equally. That's bike racing."
Haussler is not giving up however; there are still a few stages which he believes suit him. "There are still two or three stages where I think a group can arrive. The next few days won't be as hard from the profile, so if I am in a group then I think my chances are better."