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Haussler optimistic for Flanders

Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo) after stage 3 at the Tour of Qatar

Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo) after stage 3 at the Tour of Qatar (Image credit: Barry Ryan)

Heinrich Haussler has admitted that he missed the decisive attack of Saturday's Milan-San Remo race, but was hopeful for the upcoming Northern Classics starting this week with Dwars Door Vlaanderen in Belgium.

The Garmin-Cervélo rider finished the Primavera in the first chase group of the attackers, at 23 seconds behind winner Matt Goss (HTC-Highroad), and was not satisfied with his performance. "That was not what I had planned," a disappointed Haussler said on his personal website. He was part of a 44-man lead group in the finale towards San Remo, but eventually saw his chances annihilated on the Poggio climb.

"I felt good the whole day and on the Cipressa even played with the idea of attacking, but 200 metres before the top of the Poggio it was over. I just could not follow the decisive attack. At the top I was not so far back, but had missed the chance. Since those of us in the chase group did not jump immediately and vehemently to join the leading group, the gap just kept on growing and I was not involved in the outcome of the race."

Haussler, who already won two stages of the Tour of Qatar this year after an injury-stricken 2010 season, could not put his finger on what exactly went wrong. "I cannot say that I felt bad, perhaps it was simply not my day," he continued, echoing the sentiments of his team management. "But what I certainly must not forget is how the 2010 season went. Because of injuries, I was unable to train much in the spring, rode few races and did not ride any of the three-week Grand Tours. In order to win Milan - San Remo, everything has to come together."

Fortunately, cycling never leaves the riders too much time to dwell on mishaps and Haussler is now turning his attention to the Northern Spring Classics, where he will have plenty of opportunities to redeem himself.

"Tomorrow I will travel to Belgium and on Wednesday I will start my first Flemish race of the season, the 66th edition of Dwars Door Vlaandren. Let's see what I can can do on this course. After all, my form is not that bad. I am optimistic!"