What's Cool In Road Cycling

Hansen and Wellens, A Giro with a Mission

One of the nine riders in the Lotto Soudal team will be Adam Hansen. Last year at the Vuelta the Australian completed his thirteenth consecutive Grand Tour, a record. This season he wants to continue on the same path and ride all three Grand Tours again. Why does he keep doing it and what’s special about the Giro? We asked him.

Adam Hansen: “The Giro will be my fourteenth consecutive Grand Tour and it’s nice that I’ve come this far. But I treat it as any other race, regardless the number. I want to do this race as much as anyone even though I have done so many Grand Tours. To me it has just become something I do. Also this year I am motivated to ride all three Grand Tours. I do this because I enjoy the style of racing. It’s a mix of many different styles and I like to be on the road and have race after race after race.”

“The Giro is the most passionate one of the three Grand Tours according to me. I just love Italy and the atmosphere at the race there. During the stages we often pass beautiful places, but unfortunately it’s very difficult to remember exactly where. In all those years I’ve crossed the whole country and have seen a lot of amazing places which aren’t the typical tourist destinations, it’s these places I like the most.”

“But it’s not all fun of course. The Giro always has a super hard profile and the weather conditions can be difficult. You know it’s going to be a tricky and hard race. I already had some good years in the past though, with wins working for André Greipel and for Mark Cavendish many years ago. And then there’s of course my own stage win in 2013 in Pescara. It was such a difficult stage, the weather was bad and there were so many climbs and crashes and then it’s so nice to come in solo in the rain. My first Grand Tour stage will never be forgotten.”

“For sure people will see me in action again this edition, in breakaways and aiming for a good result. I can’t tell when and where yet, that also depends on the team tactics. Only one thing is sure: it is my birthday on 11 May, when it’s the fifth stage. I’m not such a birthday fan and I don’t like the fuss, but people always remind me. The team likes to celebrate it, but for me it’s just another day.”

Tim Wellens will ride the Giro d’Italia for the second time in his career. In 2014, Tim obtained some nice results. He became two times second and obtained also two top ten places. Besides that, he managed to finish fourth in the KOM classification. Also this year the course offers a few opportunities to try something and the 25-year-old Belgian celebrates his birthday in Italy. Because of that he’ll be extra motivated.

Tim Wellens: “In 2014, I rode my first Grand Tour in Italy and actually that was a very good race. During the preparations for this season it was already clear from the beginning that I would participate in the Giro. I have the ambition to go to the Olympic Games in Rio, a combination of the Tour de France and the Olympic Games wouldn’t be a wise choice.”

“The goals for the next three weeks match my way of racing. The finales of a few stages really suit me so I’ll try to ride aggressively just like always. I want to obtain some nice results in these stages. I won’t aim for a good position on GC. Even if everything would go perfectly, a top fifteen place would be the best possible result. But then I need to ride less aggressively in a few stages and I’m not keen on that. I want to give full gas in some stages and I prefer to win a stage instead of obtaining a top fifteen result.”

“The Giro is less hectic compared to the Tour de France. There’s just less stress in the peloton and there’s also less pressure from the media. It’s a very nice race, a lot of passionate fans will support the riders along the roads. After Liège-Bastogne-Liège I didn’t ride on my bike for about three days. After that I was able to train well in the Ardennes. I think I’m satisfied about my feeling after the Ardennes Classics. A body that’s in good form must be able to handle four races in two weeks. That way I’m able to start in the Giro with a good shape just like two years ago.”


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