Happy hopping birthday to Heinrich Haussler, the racing kangaroo!

That cheeky chappy Heinrich Haussler turns 28 today and we’re in the mood to celebrate. So what’s so special about HH? Well, he’s an Australian who moved by himself to Germany when he was 14 to hone his cycling skills. He’s also an Australian who prefers to ride in the cold and the rain. And even at 28, he still looks like he should be in a boyband (maybe Heinrich and the Hausslers?) But let’s make this multi-media, shall we? Here’s a little film for you all to enjoy.

Okay, admit it. How many of you had a little lump in your throat or a tiny tear in your eye when he started crying as he was nearing the finish line to win his first stage at the Tour de France? Don’t you love it when athletes do that?

2009 was Heinrich’s breakout season. Even before that stage win at the Tour, he was making his mark. He beat Philippe Gilbert for second in Tour of Flanders, got heartbreakingly pipped at the post by Mark Cavendish in Milan-San Remo and came in seventh in Paris-Roubaix. He looked on his way to being quite a force in the Spring Classics.

But 2010 and 2011 didn’t go the way he had planned. After a horrific crash with Cavendish in the 2010 Tour de Suisse and knee surgery later that summer, it took him a lot of time to get back to fighting fit. Here he talks about his showing – or lack of showing – at the 2011 Classics. Maybe this year he’ll be a force to be reckoned with in April.

However, it’s not all about suffering and rain and cold. It’s also about the wonder of zippers …

Not to take anything away from the designers at Castelli, but don’t all zippers work that way? But magic zippers or no, here’s a hearty happy birthday to the Racing Kangaroo! Hopefully he will have something to celebrate later this evening, as he’s spending his birthday racing at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Such dedication, eh?

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