The Cervélo TestTeam confirmed today that Heinrich Haussler has begun the procedures to change his country affiliation to Australia. Haussler had dual citizenship and has been competing under a German license since he came to the country as a teenager.
Haussler lived in Australia until the age of 14 and then moved to Germany, his father's home country, to pursue his career in cycling. The 26-year-old has been a professional since 2004, but has never contested the World Championships for Germany. In 2008, he said that he would not race for the country at Worlds since that would mean he would have to wait three years to change citizenship. With the titles being decided in Melbourne at the end of this season, Haussler will now hope to get the nod for Worlds with Australia.
"It was not an easy decision to give up my German citizenship, but I came to a point in my life where I decided to follow my feelings. I had the lucky situation that I was the owner of two passports, but I feel more Australian and therefore I made the final decision to ride in the future for the country where I grew up," said Haussler.
"It was definitely a hard choice. Germany is still really important to me and I have many friends here. I would also like to take the opportunity to say thank you to all the people who have supported me along the way so far, especially the German national cycling federation."
“We were aware of his decision. In the end we couldn't influence it,” said Udo Sprenger, vice president of the Bund Deutscher Radfahrer. “It is naturally bad that he is leaving. He started his cycling career in Germany and enjoyed all the advantages that we as a cycling federation could offer him.”
Despite his change in affiliation, Haussler plans to remain a resident of Germany and that country will issue his International racing license with Australia as his citizenship.