Australian rider Adam Hansen will start his eight consecutive Grand Tour this Friday, continuing an uninterrupted sequence which began in 2011 with the Vuelta a España. Hansen won a stage in last year’s Giro d’Italia and he doesn’t hide the fact that this is once again a big ambition for him.
“For sure I would like to win a stage [in the Giro],” he told Cycling Tips in a video interview conducted at the Presidential Tour of Turkey. “That is my goal of the year. I hope it goes to plan.
“The Giro is my main priority and this [Turkey] is a buildup race and fine-tuning. I was feeling good on the climb [on stage six] and climbing very well, so I am happy with how everything is going.”
Hansen’s stage win was the best result in his pro career and shows he is continuing to improve. He believes that riding such a heavy programme has made him a better rider over the past two seasons, honing his body and raising his level.
“I think it has made me a better rider. Also very consistent. My results have been very consistent all year now,” he said. “That started happening mid-last year. Every race I am going to I have been getting good results. This year I have done Down Under, Tirreno, Milan Sanremo and now here.
“In Down Under I was ninth in GC, I had two other top tens there. In Tirreno I was fourth on a stage. Here I am three times in the top ten. So my results are very consistent now.
“I believe it is because of the three Grand Tours, always racing lots and the good foundations that have been built for me.”
Hansen often rides for Greipel and others on the team, but had greater personal freedom in the Presidential Tour of Turkey as the German is still getting over a dislocated collarbone he suffered in Gent-Wevelgem.
As a result of that Hansen was able to ride aggressively. He was seventh on the first mountain stage, ninth on the next – but would have placed higher had he delayed his final climb attack – and finished ninth overall. That sets him up well for the Giro d’Italia and the first of this season’s three Grand Tours.
“I like the Grand Tour racing. I like how it gives you opportunities all the time. If you miss a break one day, you can go the next day,” he said. “Okay for me, there are three Grand Tours, but they are all different.
“The Giro is more for my personal ambitions…I can have a free card there. At the Tour it is more helping Andre and [Jurgen] Van den Broeck, so that is also very different.
“At the Vuelta it is always nice to finish the season…it is good weather, it is a bit low key, and there also good chances for yourself there.”
In the video above Hansen speaks about these topics and also explains why he believes riding Grand Tours are less stressful than ‘real’ life. He talks about his work away from cycling and gives an update on the custom made carbon fibre shoes he raced with last year and is now selling to others.
Read more on Adam Hansen and his background here.