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Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervelo) took the green jersey after placing second in the sprint
Crash and mistake in final sprint don't affect his ambitions
Heinrich Haussler was fuming at the end of stage 3 of Paris-Nice after he narrowly missed out on the stage win, coming in second to his compatriot Matt Goss. But he was reassured the day after a crash that his knee is fine before Milan-San Remo, and was consoled by claiming the green points classification jersey.
"I landed on my kneecap again, this just shouldn't happen," Haussler told Cyclingnews on the start line of stage 3 in Cours-Cosne-sur-Loire. "After the crash, I was really worried but I had no pain."
The Australian had a few bruises, some of them being on his hands. "I don't wear gloves because I don't like that," he said, but he finished stage 3 with gloves. "I had to."
The fast man from Garmin-Cervélo berated himself for making a critical mistake in the finale, which cost him the win. "I hesitated and it cost me the victory," he said. "I don't believe myself that I hesitated. I was waiting for Greg (Henderson) to go but he was looking at his gear, maybe he had a problem with his chain or something. I waited too long and Goss went. By the time I got going, it was too late."
Haussler complained about the hectic finale in Nuits-St-Georges but certainly not about his condition, as he looks very comfortable on the bike these days. "I just came down from altitude training I was doing before Milan-San Remo," he said.
The Australian purposely skipped the Belgian week-end of Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne in order to train in the mountains. After a year 2010 marred by knee injuries, he's totally focused the Italian classicissima he completed in second position two years ago.