What's Cool In Road Cycling

Lotto Belisol: Adam Hansen excels on Giro stage 7 and takes the victory!

After a fantastic performance Adam Hansen has given Lotto Belisol the victory in stage seven of the Giro d’Italia. In the hilly seventh stage the Aussie jumped along in an early breakaway, he left his companions behind one by one and continued with a solo of twenty kilometers to Pescara. For Hansen this victory is the most beautiful of his career, one day before his 32nd birthday.

Rollin, Tamouridis, Ligthart, Tjallingi and Sella were the five riders in the escape together with Adam Hansen. 177 kilometers had to be covered today with hardly any flat roads. Although only four hills were marked, it was going up and down all the time. Due to the fickle weather there were numerous crashes and changes in the final. After the second climb of the day at 35 kilometers of the finish, when the maximal lead of eight minutes had been reduced to two minutes, Hansen accelerated. Only Emanuele Sella could follow him. After a first crash the Italian could come back again and the two leaders began the climb to Santa Maria de Criptis together, with parts up to 18%. Hansen was very strong and left Sella on the steepest parts. On the top Hansen started the last twenty kilometers. His advantage on the chasers kept increasing and in dangerous weather conditions he rode to the finish in Pescara with style. The man who was the only rider to finish all three Grand Tours last year, could enjoy the final hectometers and this amazing victory for him and Lotto Belisol.

Adam Hansen: “The feeling to be able to cross the finish line solo is of course very nice. The moment I was alone with Sella I believed the victory was possible. On the climbs I wanted to put him under pressure and on the penultimate climb I left him behind. The hills weren’t long but very steep. Before that the cooperation in the group had been very good. Because Sella was the best placed in the GC the peloton kept our lead under control.”

“This morning I knew I wanted to be in the breakaway. This was a stage I had marked, I was very motivated because I thought the escapees could make it to the finish today. If I now want to win a stage in every Grand Tour ? No, that can’t be a goal. In the Giro there are opportunities for riders like me to try this, but in the Tour we have other goals with André Greipel and Jurgen Van den Broeck. Tonight we’ll definitely have a drink!”

Sports director Bart Leysen: “How happy a winning sports director can be? (big smile) This morning I had seen he had shaved his hair. I was wise enough not to say anything, but when I did that in my time, it was because I wanted to be good. He had asked if he could have a go and had said he would be ‘in the breakaway or in the grupetto’. In the beginning of the stage the race was hard, with an average speed of 45 kilometers in the first hour. Vini Fantini had no one in the escape and they reduced the gap to two minutes with 45 kilometers to go. Then we decided he should attack, because he was very strong. Also when only Sella was with him he was the best. Because of the rain it was difficult for the chasers to take back time downhill and also uphill he didn’t lose anything. To me this stage win is as good as that of Lars Bak last year.”

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