Garmin-Cervélo's team manager, Jonathan Vaughters looks forward to the Northern Classics after a Milan-San Remo flop on Saturday.
The Dwars door Vlaanderen, E3 Prijs and Ghent-Wevelgem one-day races this week will help wash away the disappointment of San Remo. Crashes along the Italian Riviera prevented World Champion Thor Hushovd and sprint ace Tyler Farrar - and many others, including Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) - from joining the winning move.
Ahead, Garmin's third prong in its three-pronged approach, Heinrich Haussler, ran out of gas on the final coastal climb, the Poggio.
"You know, there are different races for different people," said Vaughters on Saturday, still tense after a 300-kilometre drive.
Milan-San Remo "showed why you race with three leaders. People were doubting beforehand and asking why, but the legs are going to decide this and the luck is going to decide this. That's the way the classics are, one guy crashes, one guy does not make the split because he's really not a climber - Tyler - and then you have one guy, Heinrich. He was the leader and that's that, it's up to him to either do it or don't, he was just a tiny bit off."
Haussler's season last year was marked by knee problems, which forced him to miss much of the season. He's now trying to overcome an insufficient racing base, his last three-week Grand Tour was the 2009 Tour de France.
"When I said it would be a come back year, that's exactly what I think. He's almost there, to do that well after 300K, but not quiet there. Thor has it, but his day was ended on the ground in the crash."
Hushovd, Farrar and Haussler will be back for the Northern Classics. Farrar and Haussler will join British team-mates Dan Lloyd and Roger Hammond for Dwars on Wednesday; Hushovd and Haussler will lead a different team at E3 Prijs on Saturday; Farrar at Ghent-Wevelgem on Sunday.
"To be honest, I have a better palmarès for the cobbled classics than for San Remo," Farrar said after his stage win at Tirreno-Adriatico. "I have never had a good result for San Remo."
"The rest of the classics kind of sort themselves out," added Vaughters at Tirreno. "Flanders is more for Haussler, Paris-Roubaix is clearly for Thor, Ghent-Wevelgem is for Tyler."
Cavendish sick in San Remo, thrilled for Goss's win
Goss seizes his opportunity, wins Milan-San Remo
Milan-San Remo 2011 photo gallery
Milan-San Remo 2011 start line gallery
Spring Classics 2011: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
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Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.
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