Giro Talk: HTC-Columbia’s Adam Hansen
One of PEZ’s favorite riders is Adam Hansen. I know we’re not strictly supposed to have favorites, but the engaging and amusing Aussie is always a great interview, and a proper bike racer, the way they used to make ’em in the old days.
We managed to catch a few minutes with Adam as he sat out the media hullabuloo surrounding Marco Pinotti and Andre Griepel, HTC-Columbia’s leaders for the Giro d’Italia. Now a very experienced Grand Tour rider, Hansen is ready to do battle over another three week Grand Tour…
PEZ: Are you looking forward to the next three weeks?
Adam Hansen: It’ll be good, I like the Giro. There’s a really good buzz around it this year. It’s good for training! (Much laughter)
PEZ: You’ve got three weeks of working for Greipel … are you mentally prepared?
Adam Hansen: I’m quite used to it, so it shouldn’t be too bad. We’ve got a lot of work to do but we think Greipel will do a very good job. We all believe in him, we all trust him, and we’re looking forward to his success.
PEZ: Is he very different to work with compared to Cav?
Adam Hansen: In some senses, when you’re racing it’s almost the same with the job we have to do. Greipel does climb better which makes that side of it a little easier, making sure Greipel is there at the finish can be simpler in that way but Cav is a great finisher, too.
Greipel is always consistent, relaxed. In every race he does well. Even last year after his injury, he came back winning. This year it’s been the same … he’s started well and he’s won at practically every race he’s been to. I can’t see why that wouldn’t happen here.
PEZ: What about personal ambitions for the Giro?
Adam Hansen: If the opportunity comes up, I’d like to do something for myself. My main role is focus on working for Greipel so I hope to take as much enjoyment as possible.
If things do work out and I get in a break, great, but I wouldn’t want to take it away from Greipel’s opportunity.
PEZ: Is there any worry for the riders about the Cav/Greipel ‘rivalry’, especially as Greipel might leave at the end of the year?
Adam Hansen: If you go to one race and one guy’s there, and you go to a different race and the other one’s there, it’s always good to have two great sprinters to take the pressure off. so far it’s worked well with them together, even if they’re not racing each other.
At the moment, we have the two best sprinters in the world and everyone wants to know who’s the best. We often joke with the sports directors that they should put them both in the same race, four workers each, and see who wins!
PEZ: What about the rest of your year?
Adam Hansen: My main goal this season was Roubaix and I rode that well. My second goal was to get to the Giro, and I’m here. After that, they say I’m in the Tour de France selection, but plans can change. If I get in, that’ll be great. If not, I’ll have a nice holiday.
PEZ: How’s life in the Czech Republic? Are you still happy living there?
Adam Hansen: Yeah, definitely. I’ve been there a long time. The lifestyle is great. I’ve done races all over Europe – Belgium, Holland, I’ve done the Tour, raced in Austria, done the Vuelta … in some senses they’re all the same but the Czech Republic is different.
The atmosphere is not like any other country, I love it there and I can’t see myself wanting to go anywhere else.
PEZ: A quick question about the bikes … happy with everything for this Giro?
Adam Hansen: Yep … the bikes are always great. Scott make some of the best bikes in the world. The kit is good …
PEZ: How about the new ‘Giro pink’ flashes on the jersey?
Adam Hansen: Nice! Makes us feel special for a few days. It would be nice if one of us has an all-pink jersey in the next few days though!
With thanks to Adam for his time, and wishing him a safe trip around the Corsa Rosa to Verona.