Heinrich Haussler Sprints To Australian Road Championships Victory


Peloton Cafe || 2015 Cycling Australia Road National Championships - Heinrich Haussler

Peloton Cafe || 2015 Cycling Australia Road National Championships – Heinrich Haussler (image copyright Con Chronis)

Inverell’s?Heinrich Haussler (IAM Cycling) thrilled the 25,000 strong crowd that lined the streets of Buninyong by edging pocket rocket Caleb Ewan (Orica GreenEDGE) in a sprint to the line to finish the 182km men’s road race at the Mars Cycling Australia Road National Championships. Victoria’s Neil Van Der Ploeg (Avanti Racing) claimed bronze. ?To be honest I still can?t believe it, it?s seriously the best day of my life,? said Haussler who?s chain came off in his sprint to the line. Born in Australia, Haussler took advantage of his German heritage by beginning his racing career racing for the country.? In 2010, he gave up his citizenship in the hope of being selected for Australia for the Geelong UCI Road World Championships. ?It means everything. To start the season off like this and to have the jersey now, it just puts you on a different level,” Haussler said. ?It was just a tough sprint and the lactic acid was just coming out of my ears in that last one hundred metres. Thank god the line came and I got there first, I just couldn?t believe it,? said Haussler who?s resume also boasts Tour de France and Tour of Spain stage victories. On a humid but sunny day, 149 riders set off for 18 laps of the tough Mt Buninyong 10.2 kilometre circuit. Haussler was part of a larger breakaway group which formed inside the final 40 kilometres before a select nine were left to fight it out for line honours. Ewan and teammate Michael Hepburn, van der Ploeg, Campbell Flakemore on debut for BMC, Sam Spokes and Darren Lapthorne (Drapac), Jack Bobridge (Budget Forklifts) and Angus Morton (Jelly Belly) began to attack one another on the final climb up Mt Buninyong with sprint ace Ewan the one left to do all the chasing. With three kilometres left to race, Ewan went on the offensive and launched a blistering attack with van der Ploeg the one to match his power. However a lull in the tempo saw Haussler return to the fore and in the end, his sprint was too much for a visibly exhausted Ewan. ?To be honest, I?m devastated,? said an emotional Ewan who added a second silver medal to his tally for the?week after finding the podium in Wednesday’s criterium. ?That would have been such a dream start to my career winning the green and gold in my first year as a professional and to come so close is really gutting,” Ewan, 20, added. ?I really tried to keep that little group together in the end to make sure it?came down to the sprint, I gave it my all.? Van der Ploeg, who finished fourth in 2013, realised the significance of his result. ?Oh man, there was a lot of action on the last lap. It was a pretty awesome race actually,” said Van Der Ploeg, 27, of Mount Beauty. ?It?s obviously a very quality podium. I think everyone knows Caleb has got bucket-loads of talent. To come third to Heinrich Haussler and Caleb, I can?t be too down.? Text via Cycling Australia Media Release

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