• Brenton Jones (L) Caleb Ewan (C) and Heinrich Haussler (R) on the podium on stage 3 of the 2019 Bay Crits (Con Chronis)Source: Con Chronis
Heinrich Haussler has returned to Australia for the first time in four years, on a self-described mission to be crowned national road champion this weekend.
By
Sophie Smith

Source:
Cycling Central
4 Jan 2019 - 9:24 AM 

Haussler hasn’t competed at the series of summer races here since 2015 when he won his maiden national title from a small group sprint ahead of Caleb Ewan and Neil van der Ploeg.

The 34-year-old will compete as a one-man show in Ballarat on Sunday, miffed that newly signed Bahrain Merida trade teammate Rohan Dennis won’t aid his operation.

“It’s not really much of a plan. Rohan is pretty much leaving me in the dead. He’s not racing at all, which is pretty weak,” Haussler taunted of the national and world time trial champion.

“He’s just going to concentrate on the TT -- that is two days later. This time I’m by myself.”

Watch Haussler in action on Sunday 6 January at the 2019 FedUni Road Nationals LIVE on SBS and streaming at Cycling Central. Our coverage starts at 10am AEDT with the elite women's race. 

Haussler had only David Tanner for company when he claimed line honours four years ago so doesn’t necessarily need a full arsenal in the race of attrition.

The former champion finished third overall at the Lexus Blackburn Bay Crits in Melbourne on Thursday, happy with his output that has significantly increased with a once career threatening knee injury now fully healed.

Haussler weighs up racing future
Heinrich Haussler is set to weigh up his racing future after the UCI Road World Championships but is confident the titles in Norway will not double as the last battle of his pro cycling career.

“I’ve actually been able to go back to the gym, which is why I’m feeling pretty good in these Crits. I’ve got way more power. I’m pushing 200 to 300 watts more in the sprint now compared to last year so that makes a massive difference,” he said.

Haussler will not be the only soloist at the 185km elite men’s national championship from 12.30pm local time. Nathan Haas (Katusha-Alpecin) and Jay McCarthy (Bora-hansgrohe) are among those set to have no to little team support. Temporary alliances between one-man bands apparently aren’t a thing either.

“I haven’t spoken to anyone, but I also wouldn’t help anyone,” Haussler said.

“It will be a lottery. You can’t just follow everything, you have to be smart. Say 20 guys go in the first lap, you may think it’s not going to go but if it does, if it’s the right group and it goes, then the race is pretty much over. You have to go with every move, but you also have to save energy in case it does come down to that final lap.”

Haussler will start the Tour Down Under later this month, working in Adelaide for upcoming German sprinter Phil Bauhaus who also joins Bahrain Merida this season.

“The team wants him to race down here, be good in Down Under and because I’m one of the older riders, I’m kind of like Phil’s father, the team put me on the list. I thought if I have to do Down Under then I want to come out super early and then also have a go at nationals,” he said.

“I’m on a mission to win on Sunday.”

Watch Haussler in action on Sunday 6 January at the 2019 FedUni Road Nationals LIVE on SBS and streaming at Cycling Central. Our coverage starts at 10am AEDT with the elite women's race.