Heinrich Haussler «San Remo is a very long sprint»

21 March 2014

IAM Cycling

Victory in La Primavera is one of the many classics that Heinrich Haussler confesses he dreams of adding at least once to his record.

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Milan-San Remo has occupied his dreams for a long time.  And even more since in 2009, a photo finish deprived him of a great victory, in favor of Mark Cavendish.

Sunday, the Australian who lives in the German town of Fribourg-en-Brisgau has every intention of building on the great momentum that Metteo Pelucchi’s victory during the second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico has given the team.

Nothing will be simple since the Swiss team will not only be deprived of the exemplary services of Jérôme Pineau, who is sick, but will be facing the greatest riders in the world such as Greipel, Sagan, Cancellara, Gerrans, Degenkolb, Démare, Cavendish, Ciolek.

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Though IAM Cycling will be facing the strongest, largest teams in the World Tour, the Swiss Pro Continental team can this year count on a strong two-pronged attack now that Michel Thétaz, the founder and general manager of IAM Cycling has recruited Sylvain Chavanel to help lead the team.

As soon as Tirreno-Adriatico ended, Heinrich Haussler went home to recover and refine the details of his preparation before facing La Primavera on Sunday, which promises to be as difficult as 2013 since cool rainy weather is returning to the region in time for the race.  The Australian, well-known for never wearing gloves even if the temperature dips deep into the negative numbers, is not letting a little weather make him forget his ambitions.

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“Ours is an outdoor sport and I always manage to adapt to cold or heat.  In the winter, I do not wear gloves when I practice skate-skiing in Engadine, even when the temperature drops below -15°C.  The forecasted rain will not bother me more than that, but it will naturally tighten up the race for everyone.  The threat of crashing will increase.”

The Australian understands the importance of doing well in this first appointment on the spring classics calendar with the biggies like GP E3, Gent-Wevelgem, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix still to come.  And his familiarity with the race helps him read its development better.

“For me, La Primavera is the easiest but also the hardest classic to win, even though that may seem paradoxical.  In fact, it is a very long sprint which starts at the Cipressa and ends at the San Remo beachfront, some 30 kilometers later.  Everyone has trouble with the 300 kilometers.  After 250 kilometers, the guys start letting go.  But we still have to get past the little climbs before we arrive at the foot of the Poggio.  At this point, positioning is essential.  So the team must be prepared to do a lot of work for the leaders.  We have to be ready to rub elbows and block while racing at 50 km/h. 

I feel like I’m well prepared for it.  I did not take a vacation at the end of 2013.  I really focused all my efforts on the spring races.  At Tirreno, I worked specifically for this final, which is always tumultuous.  The sensations are good, and with Sylvain Chavanel also there, we will do everything we can to give the team this prestigious victory.” 

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