Having endured a forgettable Spring campaign through injury, Cervélo TestTeam's Heinrich Haussler is now anticipating a solid Tour de France and relishing his newly-found form after winning stage one of the Tour de Suisse on Sunday.
Haussler, who won a stage of last year's Tour de France in what was a memorable season, has been plagued by injury thus far in 2010 and the win in Sierre signalled a return to form for one of the peloton's most exciting prospects.
"For me the season starts here and now," he told radsport-news. "It also gives me confidence for the Tour - my form is improving."
During last month's Amgen Tour of California, the 26-year-old experienced a recurrence of the knee pain that kept him out of the Spring Classics before a vehicle accident that occurred whilst he was driving drunk added insult to injury during a season that threatened to be a write-off.
This success has the Australian-born German back on track however, and he described the difficulty he faced throughout the day's closing kilometres: "It was really hard today. No one expected that the last mountain would be so hard - there were many attacks by the climbers," he explained.
"We were only 30, 40 men and on the downhill some more reached us. But when I looked around, there wasn't one of my helpers around, which made it even harder. But I knew that the last 200 metres were uphill and that there would be wind, so I waited and waited for the right moment and yes, it was a beautiful victory."
His Tour stage win also came in difficult circumstances, and Haussler is aware that he must not reach too far during the remainder of the Swiss event if he hopes to emulate his 2009 performances next month in France.
"There are a lot harder stages [at the Tour de Suisse] and I will not go too deep. But if there's another chance for a win or two on offer again, I will definitely try it," he added.