Classics specialist Heinrich Haussler has said that he is determined to bounce back from knee injury having been forced to pull out of the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix.
"This time last year I was a favourite for the Classics," the 26-year-old Cervelo Test Team rider wrote on his blog on Wednesday. "At the start of Flanders the race announcers called my name as I made my way to the sign in."
"People cheered my name as if I was a gladiator heading into battle, I had great legs. I felt amazing and I finished second. Second! This year I won't even have the chance to finish Flanders."
Haussler's knee troubles started after a crash in the Tour of the Algarve, and were made worse by another crash during Paris-Nice. Cervelo's team doctor, Thomas Klimaschka, has said that Haussler has an injury of the quadriceps tendon and must miss all of the Classics to recover.
Despite the disappointment of missing the Classics, Haussler remained upbeat with high hopes for the remainder of the season including repeating his 2009 stage win at the Tour de France and riding the World Championships.
Haussler hinted that he may switch nationality from German to Australian for the World Championships which take place in Geelong, Australia, in September.
Haussler was born in Germany in 1984 to German and Australian parents, but moved to Australia as a child. He then returned to Germany as a teenager in order to become a professional cyclist. He turned professional in 2005, winning a stage of the Vuelta a Espana in the same year.
Haussler quickly established himself as an effective attacking rider, winning stages of the Tour, Paris-Nice and Tour of the Algarve in 2009. Haussler came within centimetres of winning last year's Milan-San Remo, where he launched a strong late attack only to be pipped on the line by Mark Cavendish.
Cervelo's Andreas Klier will also miss the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix as he is recovering from concussion sustained as a result of a crash at the E3 Prijs on Saturday.
Norwegian sprinter Thor Hushovd will lead the Cervelo team in the Tour of Flanders, backed by British riders Roger Hammond, Jeremy Hunt and Daniel Lloyd.
Tour of Flanders 2010: The Big Preview
Heinrich Haussler: Rider Profile
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