Haussler storms to solo win
Heinrich Haussler took victory in cold, wet conditions on stage 13 of the Tour de France. Rinaldo Nocentini retained the yellow jersey.
Last Updated: 17/07/09 8:14pm
Cervelo's Heinrich Haussler took an emotional victory in cold, wet conditions on stage 13 of the Tour de France.
Haussler was part of a seven-man breakaway just three kilometres into the 200km route from Vittel to Colmar.
The Australian-born rider, who represents Germany, dropped his companions one by one and was in was in tears as he crossed the finish line alone to complete his maiden Tour de France stage victory.
Euskaltel's Amets Txurruka of Spain finished second, four minutes and 11 seconds after Haussler, while Frenchman Brice Feillu took third for Agritubel, a further two minutes back.
"Today was perfect," said Haussler. "I only live about 30km from here so you could say it's my training area and also this weather, I love the rain and the cold.
"At the beginning it was difficult because there are a lot of good riders in the group and the peloton behind were chasing the whole time.
"They didn't let us go so I just tried to split it up a bit because there were too many good hill climbers there and I knew as the day would go on I would get stronger and the others would get weaker because I just love this type of weather and it's really good for me."
Haussler, Euskaltel's Ruben Perez Moreno and Sylvain Chavanel of Quick-Step were still together at the foot of the category one Col du Platzerwasel, 60km from the finish.
Perez Moreno was quickly dropped and Haussler started to pull away from Chavanel with some audacious descending.
He extended his lead on the small Col du Bannstein and kept up the pace on the second-category Col du Firstplan before powering to the finish line.
Haussler, 25, added: "I thought he (Chavanel) was just playing with me because either he didn't come through on the turns or his turns were a bit weak.
"On the downhill because the peloton had closed it down to about three minutes I just had to go because if I had waited I don't know what would have happened, so I just went.
"I just went like crazy and I didn't even really realise it until the last kilometre because it felt like a dream."
The peloton, including Rinaldo Nocentini, Alberto Contador, Lance Armstrong and all the other big guns in the general classification, arrived together six minutes and 45 seconds behind Haussler.
AG2R's Nocentini, of Italy, retained the overall lead and has now held the yellow jersey for a week. He leads Astana duo Contador and Armstrong by six and eight seconds respectively.
Another Astana rider, Levi Leipheimer, who was fourth in the overall standings, was forced to pull out prior to the start of stage 13 after an X-ray revealed he suffered a broken wrist in a crash the previous day.
Stage 13 result:
1 H Haussler (Germany/Cervelo) 4hrs 56mins 26secs
2 A Txurruka (Spain/Euskaltel) +4:11"
3 B Feillu (France/Agritubel) +6:13"
4 S Chavanel (France/Quick-Step) +6:31"
5 P Velits (Slovakia/Milram) +6:43"
6 T Hushovd (Norway/Cervelo)
7 V Efimkin (Russia/AG2R)
8 B Wiggins (Britain/Garmin)
9 G Hincapie (US/Columbia)
10 A Schleck (Luxembourg/Saxo Bank)
1 R Nocentini (Italy/AG2R) 48hrs 27mins 21secs
2 A Contador (Spain/Astana) +6"
3 L Armstrong (US/Astana) +8"
1 T Hushovd (Norway/Cervelo) 205 points
2 M Cavendish (Britain/Columbia) 200
3 J Joaquin Rojas (Spain/Caisse d'Epargne) 116