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Haussler rallies after 'absolute disaster' at Paris-Roubaix

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Heinrich Haussler rides the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix

Heinrich Haussler rides the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Haussler in the peloton at 2019 Paris-Roubaix

Haussler in the peloton at 2019 Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Heinrich Haussler before the start of Paris-Roubaix

Heinrich Haussler before the start of Paris-Roubaix
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Recovered from his knee injury, Heinrich Haussler at the training camp

Recovered from his knee injury, Heinrich Haussler at the training camp
(Image credit: www.portraitofanathlete.com)
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Heinrich Haussler and Vincenzo Nibali on the Koppenberg

Heinrich Haussler and Vincenzo Nibali on the Koppenberg
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)

He wears his heart on his sleeve, and that was clear for all to see, and hear, when Heinrich Haussler (Bahrain-Merida) crossed the line to finish 14th in Paris-Roubaix.

The Australian spent the majority of the race on the defensive after two untimely punctures robbed him of a chance of a high finish. He chased valiantly throughout the race, and even had the strength to skip off the main field in the closing stages of the race, before coming home behind a group that contained a number of favourites.

"I had two flat tyres and a mechanical. I chased and chased, but wasted so much energy just to get back," Haussler told Cyclingnews as he tried to gather his thoughts after a jarring day on the cobbles.

"I felt good and I wasn't ready to give up, but today's been an absolute disaster. I'm so pissed off. That's Roubaix, and that's the way it is, but I just wanted a bit of fucking luck. That's the only race I've been working towards this year..."

Two years ago, Haussler's career was shrouded in doubt due to a knee injury, but, since the end of 2017, he has rebuilt his reputation as one of the most dependable Classics riders in the peloton. He was a road captain at the Tour de France last year, but this season his focus was on the spring Classics, and especially Roubaix. Ask any rider and they'll tell you that losing to a better rider hurts, but that losing after suffering bad luck hurts even more. That was clear as Haussler explained his race.

"I had a flat tyre before the Arenberg, and that's just the way it is," he said. "I just couldn't get back because the cars don't help you. They just form a barrage. I'm super angry, I'm super disappointed. I came back, but by then it was too late.

"If you burn that many matches then it's hard to recover, but even then I felt good in the finale. I was in a group but no one was pulling, and they were just trying to get to the finish. What are you in the race for if you’re not going to pull? Talk to me tomorrow and it'll be different, but right now...

"I was chasing with Wout van Aert [Jumbo-Visma] at one point. We got back two sectors after the Arenberg, and then – bang! – I had another flat. The cars were five minutes behind and there were five or six groups, and I was just chasing again. That's Roubaix. That's how it is in the end."