Lotto Belisol: Adam Hansen aims for seven Grand Tours in a row
Vuelta 2011, Giro 2012, Tour 2012, Vuelta 2012, Giro 2013, Tour 2013 and Vuelta 2013. If Lotto Belisol rider Adam Hansen arrives in Madrid safe and sound that will be the impressive series he will have completed: 7 Grand Tours in a row! In May he won a stage in the Giro when he finished solo in the pouring rain in Pescara. Why does the Aussie like it so much to ride all three Grand Tours in one year? Was it his goal to ever ride does three races in one season or did circumstances led him to this? There’s much to do about his succession of Grand Tours, but what are his own feelings about it? We asked the man himself.
Adam Hansen: “I think it was more of a challenge last year, as it was the first time. This year I’m a lot more relaxed going into the 3rd Grand Tour of the season. I’m very confident that I’ll do well and I’m really satisfied with my training and the rest period I’ve had so far. Last year I was a bit unsure about my form, this year I feel much better because I did take more rest. This season there’s one week more between Vuelta and Tour, that really helps to recover. After the Tour I stayed a whole week off the bike. The following week I did some easy rides and the third week I did a two day programme, which I repeated several times. I began with a very short and extremely hard session of between two and three hours and the second day a long ride of between six and seven hours. The third day was a rest day. I’ve done a lot harder training than last year before the Vuelta. But I feel I don’t need to train so much, because I’ve done so much racing.”
“I think it’s nice that if all goes well I will have completed seven Grand Tours in a row. It’s pretty incredible when you think about it and it does make me proud. I like to see how many I can do, I’m very happy Lotto Belisol enables me to have this kind of race programme. You need a team that supports you and that’s what my team does. I like doing block racing, so that’s why I like riding the three Grand Tours. In the end you have less travel days and are more at home. I like to train very specific and having a longer rest period gives me that opportunity. Other benefits are of course that you get free food, free rent, free laundry; you get taken care of (laughs). In that sense it’s very relaxing too.”
“When I completed the first Grand Tour I started thinking it would be nice to do them all in one year. I never said ‘okay this year I’m going to do it’, because you have to be selected by the team and have to be injury-free and have to finish them all. When the opportunity came last year after I had both completed Giro and Tour I asked if I could do the Vuelta and some of the sports directors laughed at me, thought I was joking. But if I have the chance I’d like to continue to do this.”
“I very much like to win a stage in the Vuelta. I’m definitely going to have a go for it, that’s for sure. Hopefully I’m in a breakaway that makes it to the finish, so I can have a chance. In any case my condition is really good. The Vuelta is getting harder every year, but I enjoy the hard racing so in that way it suits me well. But a Grand Tour is a Grand Tour and therefore they are tough. They are all three different and I like them all. For me the Giro is more sentimental, the Tour is more ‘get down to business’ and more serious and the Vuelta is probably the most enjoyable and relaxing for me. You’re a bit more free in the Vuelta and you don’t have so much pressure as in the Tour, in a sense you’re more yourself.”