After enjoying his best season to date in 2009, Heinrich Haussler is hoping for a stellar 2010 in which he'll aim for the first Classic win of his career.
Haussler was a revelation last year, finishing second to Mark Cavendish at Milano-Sanremo, fourth in Flanders, seventh in Paris-Roubaix and winning a memorable stage in the Tour de France. Overall, he scored nine races, more than he'd won in the previous three years of his career.
This year, the Cervélo rider has altered his training programme and aims to be bang on form for the Classics instead of starting to peak in February, like he did last year. "I've changed my training a bit so I won't peak as early this year. You won't see that much action from me in the first few races this season," he told Cyclingnews.
At the Classics, Cervélo will once again be one of the strongest teams, and despite the loss of Simon Gerrans to Sky, the team look a fearsome outfit with Haussler joined by Thor Hushovd and the likes of Roger Hammond. "For me, in my eyes, Cervélo is the best Classics team in the World," he said.
Haussler also believes that the Classics will be even more competitive than ever before with the new Sky team as well as BMC strengthening and Katusha, Quick Step and Rabobank all having strong teams. "I think there are ten guys who could win a race like Flanders. If I had a choice that's the race I'd like to win most though. It doesn't necessarily suit me the best as I know I can be up there in Roubaix too.
"Last year in Roubaix I made a stupid mistake and it cost me. I was on the back of the lead bunch just as Boonen attacked. It meant that I was left with Cancellara and Chavanel while Thor was up the road. If I'd chased it would have looked like I was going after my own teammate."
As for the dynamic of racing on the same team as Hushovd, Haussler believes that it can be as successful as last year. "With Thor on the team it's hard to come past him. He's Thor Hushovd after all. But I'm going to make sure that I'm in peak condition.
"I'm not saying I'm better than Thor - just that it's hard on the team as he's such a good rider. He doesn't have that many bad days but if he does maybe he'll say, 'Heinrich I'm not feeling that good today, have a go.'"
Haussler is currently training at home in Europe, having returned to Australia over the off-season to see family and friends. Next week he flies to Cervélo's team camp in Portugal.