Heinrich Haussler, who gave up German citizenship in 2010 to ride for Australia, the country of his birth, is its new national road champion – and says it is “the best day of my life.”
The 30-year-old IAM Cycling rider outsprinted Orica-GreenEdge’s Caleb Ewan at the end of the 182km race at Buninyong, with Neil van der Ploeg of Avanti Racing third.
Haussler had rejoined a small front group with three of the 18 laps remaining, and beat Ewan, 10 years his junior and tipped for stardom, despite his chain coming off in the sprint.
“To be honest I still can’t believe it, it’s seriously the best day of my life,” he said afterwards, reports the Cycling Australia website.
“It means everything. To start the season off like this and to have the jersey now, it just puts you on a different level," Haussler went on.
“It was just a tough sprint and the lactic acid was just coming out of my ears in that last one hundred metres.
“Thank god the line came and I got there first, I just couldn’t believe it,” he added.
The women’s event went to Peta Mullens of Victoria Victoria’s Peta Mullens, her seventh national title in cycling – road, track and MTB – and mountain running.
The 26-year-old said afterwards: “Of all the national titles [I’ve won], I’m a Mountain Biker, I would still prefer to win this.
“It is by far the most prestigious and hardest to win and especially with the depth that we have in women cycling.
“It’s a bit ironic because it is supposed to be my only road race for the year and now that I have won the stripes, I might have to change my plans,” she added.
On Thursday, Team Sky’s Richie Porte became men’s national time trial champion, with Rabo-Liv’s Shara Gillow taking the women’s title for the fourth time in five years.
SASI’s Miles Scotson wonthe men’s under-23 time trial, and doubled up today by clinching the green and gold jersey in the road race jersey.
Porte, aged 29, beat BMC Racing’s Rohan Dennis into second place by just 7 seconds, with Budget Forklifts’ Jack Bobridge third.
“I’m thrilled to bits to win and what a great podium we’ve got. To win this time trial in such a class field is fantastic,” said the Sky rider.
Here are the video highlights of the time trials.
Simon has been news editor at road.cc since 2009, reporting on 10 editions and counting of pro cycling’s biggest races such as the Tour de France, stories on issues including infrastructure and campaigning, and interviewing some of the biggest names in cycling. A law and languages graduate, published translator and former retail analyst, his background has proved invaluable in reporting on issues as diverse as cycling-related court cases, anti-doping investigations, and the bike industry. He splits his time between London and Cambridge, and loves taking his miniature schnauzer Elodie on adventures in the basket of her Elephant Bike.