Heinrich Haussler’s remarkable ride to victory on stage 13 of the Tour de France came less than a week after the Cervélo rider had been suffering from a large saddle sore.
Speaking to Cycling Weekly on the race’s first rest day, Haussler said that the sore had flared up after the Barcelona stage - where heavy rain had thrown up a lot of dirt and grease from the city centre roads.
Four days later in Limoges, the swelling had finally started to go down but Haussler still avoided preferred to avoid the Cervelo training ride as a precaution.
Fast forward another four days and Haussler battled through wind and rain and over five classified mountain climbs to take a win which he described as one of the biggest of his career.
"It's a big, big day for me," said Haussler. "I was lucky in spite of the bad weather or perhaps because of it.
"When I realised in the last kilometre I was going to win, I told myself 'don't crash'."
Second in Milan - San Remo behind a certain Mark Cavendish by barely a tyre’s width, Haussler said he was determined the same scenario wouldn’t happen again.
“I was with [Sylvain] Chavanel for a good part of the day, but I kept on telling myself, ‘you’re not going to get second, you’re not going to get second.’”
“Now I’ve won here, I can finally put Milan - San Remo behind me.”
Those surprised by Haussler’s performance in the Vosges should remember his ride in the GP Schwarzwald one-day race in Germany this May. It involves 3,500 metres of climbing and only 20 riders finished. Haussler won.
TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 LINKS
Tour de France 2009 - the hub: Index to reports, photos, previews and more.
Stage 13: Haussler braves rain for victory in Colmar
Stage 12: Sorensen wins in Vittel as Cavendish goes for green
Stage 11: Cavendish takes fourth win to equal Hoban's record
Stage 10: Cavendish spoils Bastille Day party to take third stage win
Stage nine: Third French win as contenders content with ceasefire
stage eight: Sanchez wins from break as Tour favourites cancel each other out
Stage seven: Feillu wins at Arcalis, Nocentini takes yellow, Contador leap-frogs Lance
Stage six: Millar's brave bid denied on Barcelona hill as Hushovd triumphs
Stage five: Voeckler survives chase to win his first Tour stage
Stage four: Astana on top but Armstrong misses yellow by hundredths of a second
Live Tour de France stage four TTT coverage
Stage three: Cavendish wins second stage as Armstrong distances Contador
Stage two: Cavendish takes first sprint
Stage one: Cancellara wins opening time trial
LATEST TOUR NEWS
Tour de France 2009 News Index>>
Cavendish reveals he is going for green
Tour comment: The suspense is killing us
Analysis: Why Cavendish is one of the modern greats
Radio ban over-turned for Friday's Tour stage
Arvesen out of Tour with fractured collarbone
Tour analysis: Why the go slow did cycling no favours on Bastille Day
Cavendish's odd stage 10 finish celebration explained
No radios today, but experiment could be a one-off
Tour audio: Mark Cavendish after stage 10
Contador brushes aside talk of Armstrong conflict
Cavendish odds-on favourite for Bastille Day victory
The Tour de France Comment: Monday, July 13
How the favourites are doing (first rest day)
Wiggins stays with leaders at Tour
Armstrong: 'If Contador wins, I'll be second'
Wiggins 'on cloud nine' at Tour de France
Armstrong says Contador attack wasn't in the plan
Cavendish survives the first Tour mountain stage with ease
Wiggins, the Tour de France overall contender, has arrived
Garmin-Slipstream's HQ before the Tour
David Zabriskie's time trial bike
Mark Cavendish on the Tour's team time trial
David Brailsford interview
Mark Cavendish on the Tour
Jonathan Vaughters on Bradley Wiggins' chances
TOUR DE FRANCE 2009 PHOTOS
Stage 12 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 11 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage 10 photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage nine photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage eight photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage seven photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage six photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage five photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage four TTT photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage three photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage two photo gallery by Graham Watson
Stage one photo gallery by Andy Jones
Stage one photo gallery by Graham Watson
Team presentation by Andy Jones
Team presentation by Graham Watson
Tour de France 2009 - the hub
Tour de France 2009: Who's riding
Tour de France 2009: Team guide
About the Tour de France
Tour de France 2009: Who will win?
Tour de France 2009 on TV: Eurosport and ITV4 schedules
Big names missing from 2009 Tour de France
Tour de France anti-doping measures explained
Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Cavendish
Cycling Weekly's rider profiles
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