Haussler out kicks Ewan for Australian national title

Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) won a thrilling Australian national road championships as he out sprinted Caleb Ewan (Orica-GreenEdge) to claim victory after 183km of racing around Bunninyong in a time of 4:47:24. Haussler lost contact on the final climb up Mt Buninyong with the seven-man break that had formed on lap four of 18, and had been whittled down as the pace lifted in the second half of the race, but regained contact in the final kilometres of the race and despite having "lactic acid coming out of his ears" held off Ewan for his first national title. 

Neil van der Ploeg (Avanti) won the sprint for third place with neo-pro Campbell Flakemore (BMC), Sam Spokes (Drapac), Jack Bobridge (BudgetForklifts) and Angus Morton (Jelly Belly) following him home.

"It's definitely up there with the [Tour de France] stage win to Colmar, everything was in slow motion," Haussler said.

The IAM Cycling rider raced under a German licence until 2010, told reporters after the win. "In the last 100 meters I was sprinting and looking down and across to Caleb and just getting everything out of me to get across the line in first. When I got there I had to scream. There was just so much in me that I had to get out."

"I came here with good form and obviously it's very hard with just me and Dave [Tanner] in the race. It's a bit of poker but everything worked out perfectly. Like I said before, it's probably the best day of my life."

The anticipated tete-a-tete between Cadel Evans and Richie Porte came too late in the day with both heavily marked by the peloton as the seven-man breakaway started the final lap with a lead of a minute-and-a- half. While the fireworks starting going  in the peloton up the climb, Haussler and the break were riding away to victory and it would be sweet redemption after years of hard luck and injury.

"Once you've had the taste of winning in you, that sensation of emotion, that’s what it's all worth it for," Haussler said of what keeps him racing. "The hard work of going out on the bike every day and sacrificing everything basically, your relationship, relationships with friends, your whole lifestyle ...  but it is worth it. I'd do it all over and over again. That's the way cycling is, you have injuries you crash but you come back and that’s what makes you a rider. You fall down but you have to come back up and you come back even stronger."

"It means everything to me," Haussler added. "Even when they were playing the national anthem I had to hold back otherwise the tears were coming to come down, there have been a lot of bad years where you go to races and get dropped and guys go up the road and attack and in the sprint you just can’t follow and you think ‘what’s the matter?’ I knew it would come back eventually but you have to put in the hard work."

An attack by Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal) on the back-half of the course came too late to bridge across the break with eighth place, 48 seconds later, placing him as the best of the chasers. Steele von Hoff won the bunch sprint for ninth place at 52 seconds in a group that contained Evans (11th), Porte (22nd) and Simon Clarke (10th).

How it unfolded

The men's road race started under overcast skies but there was no sign of the predicted inclement weather at the 10:50am roll out. Once the gun the fired, the peloton turned the pedals over to start the first of 18 laps and headed up the hill to Mt Buninyong. Sam Spokes (Drapac) and Rhys Gillett (Pro Team Down Under) where the first riders to get away and held a ten second advantage over the peloton when it crossed the line to start lap two.

With the duo reeled in on the lower slopes of the midland highway climb, local lad Pat Shaw (Avanti) attacked off the front and was joined by Cam Peterson (Drapac). The duo built a small advantage over the chasers to hold a 30 second advantage at the start of lap three.

A large group of 15 riders formed on the fourth lap as it caught and subsumed the breakaway. BudgetForklifts were one of three teams with multiple representations with Josh Berry, Brendan Canty and Jack Bobridge, while Orica-GreenEdge had Damien Howson and Luke Durbridge, Drapac had the quartet of Bernie Sulzberger, Will Clarke, Lachie Norris and Cam Peterson. The solo riders were Nathan Earle (Team Sky), Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling), Campbell Flakemore (BMC), Paul van der Ploeg (CharterMason Giant), along with Gillett and Shaw.

The leaders built an advantage of 53 seconds on the start of lap six and with Porte and Evans having teammates in the break, were happy to leave the pace setting to the likes of Orica-GreenEdge and BudgetForklifts who had amassed at the front of the bunch.

After seven laps and 70km of racing, the breaks advantage broke the minute barrier as Durbridge put in an effort to force a gap. More attacks saw riders drop off from the break, which reached a maximum advantage of two minutes, with Clarke the sole survivor by lap 14. The breakaway specialist would be joined by Pat Lane (African Wildlife Safaris) on the next lap who then motored on to be the leader on the road.

With 29km to go, Lane was caught close to the feed zone on the midland highway climb, by a 17 rider group that had managed to go off the front of the peloton. In that group was Robbie Hucker, Sam Spokes, Darren Lapthorne, (Drapac) Cameron Wurf, Ewan, Haussler, Michael Hepburn (Orica-GreenEdge), Angus Morton, Peter Milostic, Flakemore, Ollie Kent-Spark (search2retain /, Mitch Docker, Bobridge, Neil van der Ploeg and Jack Anderson (BudgetForklifts).

With two laps to go, the break held a 1:24 minute advantage through the finish line and as they turned onto the climb for the penultimate time, Hepburn put in an attack to go solo and was joined by Spokes and Ewan and discarded the passengers.

Earle was riding on the front of the bunch which showed no desperation to bring back the break which had become nine riders by the time they came round for the bell lap with Hepburn and Flakemore leading.

A 1:30 minute deficient to the reduced peloton meant the likes of Evans and Porte would have to drop the hammer on the final climb if they wanted the gold medal.

Lapthorne was the first rider to attack from the breakaway and did so at the almost exact some spot as his did in 2007 when he won the title. Hepburn jumped on his wheel to close it down when Lapthorne tried again, it was Hepburn and Ewan going after him. Van der Ploeg was next to latch on just before Lapthorne gave it one last dig but it was Ewan who crested the KOM solo.

With the final seven kilometres a fast descent, Ewan was caught by Bobridge with four chasers behind them. By the time they reached Fisken Rd, it was all back together again while the peloton's chances of victor were relying on the break playing cat and mouse as the race winning attacks never eventuated from Evans or Porte.

Spokes attacked just as the six-rider group of Hepburn, van der Ploeg, Haussler, Ewan, Flakemore and Morton came back together in the final 3km.

From that point a sprint finish was inevitable and it was Haussler's timing of his sprint that got him over the line in first place just as he chain was falling off.


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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Heinrich Haussler (Aus) IAM Cycling4:47:24
2Caleb Ewan (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 1 - Cell 2
3Neil Van Der Ploeg (Aus) Avanti Racing TeamRow 2 - Cell 2
4Campbell Flakemore (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 3 - Cell 2
5Samuel Spokes (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 4 - Cell 2
6Jack Bobridge (Aus) Team Budget ForkliftsRow 5 - Cell 2
7Angus Morton (Aus) JBC0:00:09
8Adam Hansen (Aus) Lotto Soudal0:00:48
9Steele Von Hoff (Aus) NFTO0:00:52
10Simon Clarke (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 9 - Cell 2
11Cadel Evans (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Travis Meyer (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 11 - Cell 2
13Jack Anderson (Aus)Row 12 - Cell 2
14Cameron Bayly (Aus) Cycling TeamRow 13 - Cell 2
15Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 14 - Cell 2
16Lachlan Norris (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 15 - Cell 2
17Oliver Ket-Spark (Aus) Cycling TeamRow 16 - Cell 2
18Nathan Earle (Aus) Team SkyRow 17 - Cell 2
19Jai Crawford (Aus) Kinan Cycling TeamRow 18 - Cell 2
20Zakkari Dempster (Aus) Bora-Argon 18Row 19 - Cell 2
21Adam Phelan (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 20 - Cell 2
22Richie Porte (Aus) Team SkyRow 21 - Cell 2
23David Tanner (Aus) IAM CyclingRow 22 - Cell 2
24Michael Crosbie (Aus) African Wildlife Safaris Cycling TeamRow 23 - Cell 2
25Mark O'Brien (Aus) Avanti Racing TeamRow 24 - Cell 2
26Daniel Mcconnell (Aus) Trek Factory RacingRow 25 - Cell 2
27Timothy Roe (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 26 - Cell 2
28Peter Milostic (Aus)Row 27 - Cell 2
29Cameron Meyer (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 28 - Cell 2
30Simon Gillett (Aus)Row 29 - Cell 2
31Michael Hepburn (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 30 - Cell 2
32Benjamin Dyball (Aus) Avanti Racing TeamRow 31 - Cell 2
33Patrick Lane (Aus) African Wildlife Safaris Cycling TeamRow 32 - Cell 2
34Darren Lapthorne (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 33 - Cell 2
35Lachlan David Morton (Aus) JBCRow 34 - Cell 2
36Joseph Lewis (Aus) Hincapie Racing Team0:01:09
37Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 36 - Cell 2
38Stuart Grimsey (Aus)Row 37 - Cell 2
39Nathan Elliott (Aus) H&R Block Pro Cycling0:02:38
40Jayden Copp (Aus) Charter Mason Giant Racing Team0:04:21
41Chris Winn (Aus)0:05:19
42Robbie Hucker (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 41 - Cell 2
43Michael Rogers (Aus) Tinkoff-SaxoRow 42 - Cell 2
44Mitchell Docker (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 43 - Cell 2
45Brendan Johnston (Aus)0:06:36
46Mitchell Lovelock-Fay (Aus) Avanti Racing TeamRow 45 - Cell 2
47Cameron Peterson (Aus)Row 46 - Cell 2
48Cameron Wurf (Aus)Row 47 - Cell 2
49Brendan Canty (Aus) Team Budget Forklifts0:06:43
50Fabio Calabria (Aus) CSN0:09:13
51Graeme Brown (Aus)Row 50 - Cell 2
52William Clarke (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 51 - Cell 2
53Jordan Kerby (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 52 - Cell 2
54Bernard Sulzberger (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 53 - Cell 2
55Michael England (Aus)Row 54 - Cell 2
56Thomas Robinson (Aus)Row 55 - Cell 2
Row 56 - Cell 0 Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 56 - Cell 2
DNFDamien Howson (Aus) Orica GreenEdgeRow 57 - Cell 2
DNFAlan Iacuone (Aus)Row 58 - Cell 2
DNFShannon Johnson (Aus) Charter Mason Giant Racing TeamRow 59 - Cell 2
DNFBrenton Jones (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 60 - Cell 2
DNFSean Lake (Aus) African Wildlife Safaris Cycling TeamRow 61 - Cell 2
DNFRyan Macanally (Aus) Charter Mason Giant Racing TeamRow 62 - Cell 2
DNFMalcom Rudolph (Aus) Drapac Professional CyclingRow 63 - Cell 2
DNFPatrick Shaw (Aus) Avanti Racing TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
DNFStuart Shaw (Aus) Cycling TeamRow 65 - Cell 2
DNFAaron Donnelly (Aus)Row 66 - Cell 2
DNFScott Sunderland (Aus) Team Budget ForkliftsRow 67 - Cell 2
DNFPaul Van Der Ploeg (Aus)Row 68 - Cell 2
DNFNicholas Francesco Squillari (Aus)Row 69 - Cell 2
DNFMitchell Mulhern (Aus) Team Budget ForkliftsRow 70 - Cell 2
DNFJulian Jacobs (Aus)Row 71 - Cell 2
DNFMark Fagg (Aus)Row 72 - Cell 2
DNFCraig Evers (Aus) Data #3 Symantec Racing Team p/b ScodyRow 73 - Cell 2
DNFBrodie Talbot (Aus) Team Budget ForkliftsRow 74 - Cell 2
DNFAdam Allen (Aus) Data #3 Symantec Racing Team p/b ScodyRow 75 - Cell 2
DNFKenneth Ballhause (Aus)Row 76 - Cell 2
DNFNick Bensley (Aus)Row 77 - Cell 2
DNFJosh Berry (Aus) Team Budget ForkliftsRow 78 - Cell 2
DNFAndrew Blair (Aus)Row 79 - Cell 2
DNFJonathan Bolton (Aus) Navitas Satalyst Racing TeamRow 80 - Cell 2
DNFMatt Boys (Aus)Row 81 - Cell 2
DNFKyle Bridgwood (Aus) Data #3 Symantec Racing Team p/b ScodyRow 82 - Cell 2
DNFJames Butler (Aus)Row 83 - Cell 2
DNFPeter Casey (Aus)Row 84 - Cell 2
DNFRyan Cottrell (Aus)Row 85 - Cell 2
DNFLuke Cridland (Aus)Row 86 - Cell 2
DNFStephen Cunningham (Aus)Row 87 - Cell 2
DNFJordan Davies (Aus)Row 88 - Cell 2
DNFLuke Davison (Aus) Team Budget ForkliftsRow 89 - Cell 2
DNFRowan Dever (Aus)Row 90 - Cell 2
DNFCallan Douglas (Aus)Row 91 - Cell 2
DNFDave Evans (Aus)Row 92 - Cell 2
DNFLuke Fetch (Aus)Row 93 - Cell 2
DNFAli Foot (Aus)Row 94 - Cell 2
DNFCameron Fraser (Aus)Row 95 - Cell 2
DNFDane Frey (Aus)Row 96 - Cell 2
DNFChristopher Fuller (Aus)Row 97 - Cell 2
DNFNick Gatland (Aus)Row 98 - Cell 2
DNFAnthony Giacoppo (Aus) Avanti Racing TeamRow 99 - Cell 2
DNFDeclan Gregory (Aus)Row 100 - Cell 2
DNFTimothy Guy (Aus)Row 101 - Cell 2
DNFBrad Hamblett (Aus)Row 102 - Cell 2
DNFAshley Hawker (Aus)Row 103 - Cell 2
DNFBen Hill (Aus) Charter Mason Giant Racing TeamRow 104 - Cell 2
DNFCraig Hutton (Aus)Row 105 - Cell 2
DNFSaxon Irvine (Aus)Row 106 - Cell 2
DNFCameron Ivory (Aus)Row 107 - Cell 2
DNFLuke Jones (Aus)Row 108 - Cell 2
DNFLucien Keene (Aus)Row 109 - Cell 2
DNFMatthias Kiernan (Aus)Row 110 - Cell 2
DNFMatthew Leonard (Aus) Navitas Satalyst Racing TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
DNFShaun Lewis (Aus)Row 112 - Cell 2
DNFJake Magee (Aus) Charter Mason Giant Racing TeamRow 113 - Cell 2
DNFLiam Mccarthy (Aus)Row 114 - Cell 2
DNFCameron Mcdonald (Aus)Row 115 - Cell 2
DNFDavid Mclean (Aus)Row 116 - Cell 2
DNFDavid Melville (Aus) Data #3 Symantec Racing Team p/b ScodyRow 117 - Cell 2
DNFDavid Munro (Aus)Row 118 - Cell 2
DNFTommy Nankervis (Aus) Team Budget ForkliftsRow 119 - Cell 2
DNFChristopher Papastavros (Aus)Row 120 - Cell 2
DNFDavid Parker (Aus)Row 121 - Cell 2
DNFAndrew Pickering (Aus)Row 122 - Cell 2
DNFDylan Pierre-Humbert (Aus)Row 123 - Cell 2
DNFJoshua Prete (Aus)Row 124 - Cell 2
DNFThomas Rischmueller (Aus)Row 125 - Cell 2
DNFMatthew Rizzuto (Aus)Row 126 - Cell 2
DNFDavid Rugendyke (Aus)Row 127 - Cell 2
DNFAllan Satchell (Aus)Row 128 - Cell 2
DNFStuart Smith (Aus) Cycling TeamRow 129 - Cell 2
DNFAlexander Smyth (Aus) African Wildlife Safaris Cycling TeamRow 130 - Cell 2
DNFTyler Spurrell (Aus)Row 131 - Cell 2
DNFChris Stack (Aus)Row 132 - Cell 2
DNFLachlan Stewart (Aus)Row 133 - Cell 2
DNFJoel Robert Strachan (Aus) Navitas Satalyst Racing TeamRow 134 - Cell 2
DNFJosh Taylor (Aus) Charter Mason Giant Racing TeamRow 135 - Cell 2
DNFAngus Tobin (Aus)Row 136 - Cell 2
DNFMark Tupalski (Aus)Row 137 - Cell 2
DNFAdam Versteege (Aus)Row 138 - Cell 2
DNFKane Walker (Aus) Navitas Satalyst Racing TeamRow 139 - Cell 2
DNFJoel Walsh (Aus)Row 140 - Cell 2
DNFAaron Watts (Aus)Row 141 - Cell 2
DNFEdward White (Aus)Row 142 - Cell 2
DNFMarc Williams (Aus) Data #3 Symantec Racing Team p/b ScodyRow 143 - Cell 2
DNFSam Witmitz (Aus) Team Budget ForkliftsRow 144 - Cell 2
DNFCallum O'Sullivan (Aus)Row 145 - Cell 2
DNFGlenn O'Shea (Aus) Team Budget ForkliftsRow 146 - Cell 2
DNFWesley Sulzberger (Aus) Navitas Satalyst Racing TeamRow 147 - Cell 2

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