• Henrich Haussler at the start of stage five of the 2015 Tour of Qatar (Getty) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Australian road champion Heinrich Haussler will not be at the start line to defend his title at next year's event in Buninyong, Victoria.
Cycling Central

Cycling Australia
8 Dec 2015 - 7:15 PM  UPDATED 8 Dec 2015 - 7:37 PM

Haussler played a crafty game in January and dug deep at the finish of the Mars Road National Championships to win out over Caleb Ewan and Neil Van Der Ploeg.

However, after that high, the rest of the season for the 31-year-old contained no similar bright spots, particularly in his favoured classics.

And it's that disappointing classics campaign which has played on the IAM Cycling rider's mind - next year he will give up a national championship defence in favour of a more focussed program designed to net him a monument.

“I'll never forget that day and riding in the Aussie colours in 2015 is also something I'll never forget," Haussler said in a statement to Cycling Australia.

"Every training ride I did this year, when I went to put on the Aussie champion kit, it was really a special feeling.

"I love this jersey but for 2016 I just can't fit defending my title into my program because I really want to concentrate on the classics, but I will be back in 2017."

Haussler's 2016 season targets have not yet been announced.