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Haussler says he’s got little respect for Cavendish

Heinrich HausslerSpeaking about tensions which date back to a clash, and crash, with Mark Cavendish in last June’s Tour de Suisse, Australian rider Heinrich Haussler has admitted that he has little appreciation of the Manx competitor.

In a frank discussion with Sydney Morning Herald journalist Rupert Guiness at the Tour of Qatar, the Garmin-Cervélo rider said that he has no desire to speak to his sprinting rival.

“I’ve got nothing to say to him. I think the people can make their own decision about what happened. Crashes do happen, but not crashes like that. I certainly don’t respect him as a rider, or as a person. So that says everything.”
Cavendish overhauled Haussler just inches from the line in the 2009 Milan-Sanremo. However the reason for the Australian’s frustration with the HTC-Highroad rider is that crash on the fourth stage of the Tour de Suisse, or rather what happened immediately afterwards.

Reports at the time suggested that Cavendish spat at Haussler as he lay on the ground, injured. The duo had tangled metres from the line, comfortably ahead of the other sprinters and with one or other looking certain to win.

Haussler was asked if Cavendish could do anything to make things fine between them. He isn’t in the mood for any reconciliation. “Nothing. He can’t do anything, no way. It’s too late. Just the circumstances of what happened after. It’s not right,” he said.

As one of the fastest riders on the Garmin-Cervélo team, he is likely to be up against the Manx rider in sprints this season. He said that he will draw on that anger in order to be quicker. “It will make me much more determined … not necessarily against Cav. He is the fastest sprinter in the world, and he has proven that. I don’t think there will be any dirty, bitter sprinting any more. It’s just make for good competition, more competitive.”

Haussler’s 2010 season was hampered by knee issues. He appeared to be over the problem until hitting the deck in the Tour de Suisse. He missed the Tour de France and the world road race championships because of that. While his knee is still a little troublesome, he is racing well and finished second to Tom Boonen (Quick Step) on Monday’s stage one of the Tour of Qatar.

He was one of seven riders who moved across to the Garmin squad when the Cervélo Test Team folded.

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by Conal Andrews /