Sunday’s Tour of Flanders marks the beginning of the cobbled Classics, the ultra-tough races that every one-day specialist wants to win. IAM Cycling’s Heinrich Haussler has Flanders in his sights as he explains in this video.
“I really love the one-day races,” he says. “If I’m in top top form and it’s a hard day sometimes I can do a good sprint.”
Team morale and support’s vital for Haussler, who says that having team-mates he can laugh and joke with is vita - you have to take it seriously, but you have to be able to have fun too.
And that philosophy extends to his advice for younger riders. “When you’re young you’re full of energy you can pretty much do anything. Just go out there and have fun. Although you’ve got to put in the hard work, up until you’re 18 and you can make that next step just enjoy it. You can still be serious and train hard, but just go out in the races and smash it, attack it and just have fun.”
Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.
Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.
Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.
The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.