Haussler says he accepted Cavendish’s apology for Tour de Suisse crash

Garmin-Cervelo's Heinrich Haussler told VeloNews Wednesday that he had accepted an apology from Mark Cavendish for a crash that ended Haussler's season last year at the Tour de Suisse.

2011 Tour of Qatar, stage 3, Heinrich Haussler
Haussler after stage 3

Garmin-Cervelo’s Heinrich Haussler told VeloNews Wednesday that he had accepted an apology from Mark Cavendish for a crash that ended Haussler’s season last year at the Tour de Suisse.

Cavendish was penalized and fined 200 Swiss francs for his role in the crash.

Haussler won his second straight stage at the Tour of Qatar Wednesday and took the overall lead. He told Australian journalist Rupert Guiness last week that he was still bitter about the crash.

But on Wednesday the Australian said that Cavendish had approached him Tuesday and apologized.

“Yesterday he came up to me and just spoke to me about what happend last year,” he told VeloNews just after stage 3. “We spoke, but I’ve really got nothing to say. What happened last year, that happened last year and I’m not thinking about that now. I’m looking towards the future: I want to race good, I want to win races. He apologized and said it was a mistake.”

Did Haussler accept the apology?

“Yeah. I mean we spoke about it and I thought it was man of him to come up and he said he wanted to speak to me and said he was sorry, so, what’s past is past.”

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) also went down in the crash and missed much of the 2010 season partially as a result. He told VeloNews this week that he didn’t hold a grudge.

“Things happen huh? Maybe it wasn’t the fairest maneuver ever. Of course Haussler was the first impact victim, so he can be mad at (Cavendish). I was behind and crashes happen.”

So Boonen is still friendly with Cavendish?

2011 Tour of Qatar, stage 3. Mark Cavendish and Luca Paolini
Cavendish and Katusha's Luca Paolini rolled in about 1 1/2 minutes after Haussler on Wednesday.

“I never was!” he said with a laugh. “No, no, no, we have a basic relationship, that’s it.”

After Haussler won stage 2 in Qatar and moved to within one second of Boonen’s lead on the GC, Boonen congratulated him with a quick hug.

On Wednesday, Haussler took the lead after Boonen flatted on a critical crosswind section of the wind-blown circuit and then couldn’t regain the front group. In the final kilometers, Garmin-Cervelo squeezed the echelon into half the road and Cavendish got gapped and lost contact with the lead group about six kilometers from the finish.

“We wanted to put it a bit in the gutter because there were guys sitting on the back and we wanted to teach them a lesson,” Haussler said.