Australian-German Heinrich Haussler has been off cycling's radar since the Tour of Switzerland six weeks ago. There were even rumours that he was back in Australia. That's not true: in this exclusive video interview, Garmin-Cervélo's finisseur tells Cyclingnews that he is focused on the world championships, and has been training in Germany with long, steady rides.
Haussler has had his sights on the rainbow jersey ever since he switched his nationality from Germany to Australia last year. Even though he has battled knee problems and a lack of results over the past year, he hopes to be part of the Australian national team in Copenhagen in September.
He is currently racing at the Tour of Poland to build form for Worlds, and is already seeing progress: he took fourth and second in the first two stages in the Tour of Poland. His next race will be the Vuelta a Espana where he aims to take a few stage victories, "to gain a bit of motivation" prior to the Worlds.
"The Classics were a big goal for me, but I didn't have the legs, I didn't have the form," Haussler said. He blamed a trip to altitude prior to Paris-Nice and a lack of racing since his knee problems in 2010.
"Last year I only had 26 days of racing," he explained, and revealed that he had decided not to race the Tour de France not only because of his lack of form, but because of his focus on the Worlds.
Haussler told Cyclingnews that he's not really satisfied about his first part of season, even though he took two stage victories in the Tour of Qatar. 2011 has been a transition year: on one hand he admits it is difficult to be as strong as in 2009 (stage win in the Tour de France, second in Milan-San Remo, fourth in the Tour of Flanders), but on the other hand he says his position at Garmin-Cervélo is now clear: he's a sprinter, like Tyler Farrar.