Tour of Qatar Stage 2 - Leopard Trek frustrated as Haussler pips Benatti on the line

Garmin-Cervelo man riding back into form after 2010 season blighted by injury

by Simon_MacMichael   February 8, 2011  

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Garmin-Cervelo will presumably be getting the drinks around about now at the 19th hole after Heinrich Haussler won Stage 2 of the Tour of Qatar from the Camel Race Track to the Doha Golf Club.

Haussler, who missed most of the 2010 season following his high-profile crash with Mark Cavendish at the Tour de Suisse in June, confirmed that he is getting back to top form, something that his team will welcome with the Spring Classics not too far off.

Coming into the closing five kilometres of today’s 135.5km stage, no one team had managed to impose itself at the front of the peloton as the race headed towards the inevitable sprint finish.

Then, however, Leopard Trek came to the fore, Fabian Cancellara doing a big turn on behalf of team mate Daniele Bennati which started putting some of the following riders into trouble, with strong winds also making some suffer.

Into the closing kilometre and a half, and it was Stuart O’Grady who assumed duties at the front on behalf of the Luxembourg-based team, but Bennati was frustrated at the last with  Haussler somehow squeezing through a gap on the right-hand side to claim the win, the Australian making it clear after crossing the line that he thought the Italian had cut him up.