Friday, May 27, 2022
HomeDiariesAdam Hansen and his Vuelta a España - Prologue to the Rest...

Adam Hansen and his Vuelta a España – Prologue to the Rest Day


It was a sad day today for VeloVeritas’ newly married editor Martin; he had to go back to his day job — and on the rest day! Life just isn’t fair! Meanwhile we caught up with Columbia’s ex Aussie Elite TT champion and twice podium finisher in the Aussie Elite road race champs, Adam Hansen, to get the story so far as the Vuelta eventually returns home.

Adam Hansen
Adam missed the Tour, but is relishing the Vuelta.

You’ll be happy the transfer is over, Adam?

“Yeah, what was good was that we flew on the same night as we raced; that gives you the whole rest day to yourself.

“The flight was delayed though and we sat on the run way for ages — my legs were a little stiff when we got off the plane, but not too bad. I’ve been involved in worse transfers in the Giro!”

Columbia’s goals for the race?

“Stage wins — we’ve had two already, but the more the merrier! It’s also a preparation race for the Worlds for Bert Grabsch — who won the time trial here two years ago — and Kim Kirchen.”

And your job?

“I’m here to help; look after Greipel – like I did yesterday – and maybe get myself into a break.”

The prologue?

“Cool, I was very excited about it; I have a new TT position which I was keen to test, but just as I was sitting on the start ramp massive rain started and the wind came up – I just had to laugh, the exact same thing happened to me in the TT a Dunkirk. The race wasn’t the same for everyone, but sometimes time trials are like that.

“The event was good — smooth tarmac, nice corners and a huge crowd giving a great atmosphere.

“On the autoroute on the way to the race, the team bus got held up in a huge traffic jam; we thought there had been an accident, but it was just the sheer volume of people going to the race — the queue was eight kilometres long.”

Adam Hansen
Aussie TT Champ Adam chatted to VeloVeritas moobs right after the Time Trial to Saint-Amand-Montrond – Tour de France ’08. Photo©Martin Williamson

Stage one?

“I was happy for Ciolek to win, he’s had a tough time lately I believe, and it was good to see him back on top.

“We set up a good train but we’re not familiar with riding with each other in that situation, yet – we had a lot of punctures that day too, which didn’t help.”

Stage two, Columbia win.

“We were setting it up for Greipel but that was a very easy stage; there were a lot of trains trying to set up at the end and we ended up losing each other.

“Greipel couldn’t hold Greg’s wheel with all the corners and fighting and barging going on; with 800 to go there was an ‘S’ bend and Greipel was too far back – Brian (Holm) in the car said over the radio that Greg should go for it himself.

“Greg is incredible at holding a wheel in a situation like that, and he has all that track speed at the line.”

Stage three — ‘same again, please!’ and you were there, too.

“I was lucky! It was up and down all day but Greipel climbs well – I was looking after him and he didn’t struggle too much on the hills that day.

“At the end I started the lead out early, I was thinking that it was a little bit too early, but if you leave it too late then you can get swamped — I didn’t want to risk that, so I just went!

“I was driving the train and we went through a roundabout [where the massive crash occurred] I heard a noise and glanced back but couldn’t see anything for the rider behind me and kept going.

“I did a maximum turn and swung off, when I looked back, there were just a couple of Columbias and QuickSteps, and behind them, open road with no one in sight I was thinking; ‘wow!’”

Adam Hansen
Adam’s team have won half the stages so far.

Management must be happy?

“Very happy, especially because the wins are by different riders, it shows we have strength in depth — it’s good because the wins take the pressure off us.”

Did the transfer scupper you your stage three champagne?

“Yeah, come to think of it, that’s right; we didn’t celebrate because of the transfer.”

I believe the roads were a bit ‘hairy’ in Holland?

“Yeah, most of the riders here aren’t used to this type of road; it was a nightmare, with guys locking wheels, bumping into each other – I crashed on day two but I was lucky, it was nothing serious.”

Tough conditions for the GC climbers.

“Especially in the cross winds, all the little guys were having to battle for position.”

Adam Hansen
Prepping at the start of a stage.

Holland, overall, gimmick or good?

“Interesting! It breaks it the race up but the weather has been rough — we’re happy to be in Spain with the sunshine, now.

“The joke going round when we arrived on the race was that we’d landed at the wrong airport! When I told friends that I was riding the Vuelta, they were asking if I was flying in to Barcelona; I had to say; ‘no, Rotterdam!’”

The big transfer must be hard work for the team.

“The bus left two days ago with our suitcases, we’ve just had our back packs — there are no spare bikes, either because the truck had to leave to get down to Spain.

“There’s been a lot of organisation and additional staff involved.”

Adam Hansen
You’d give him room in the bunch, wouldn’t you?

The Vuelta starts properly on Thursday, then?

“Well, I guess we’d say that if we hadn’t won anything — but we’ve won half the stages so far! It’s good to here and into the nice weather, though.”

How was your rest day?

“I was up early, had breakfast, went for a 90 minute ride then had massage — and now my lovely girlfriend has come to see me!”

We’ll leave you in peace, I’m sure she’s much more interesting than us! All the best for the next few days, Adam; we’ll talk to you, soon.

Ed Hood
Ed Hood
Ed's been involved in cycling for over 47 years. In that time he's been a successful time triallist, a team manager, and a sponsor of several teams and clubs. He's also a respected and successful coach and during the winter months can often be found working in the cabins at the Six Days for some of the world's top riders. Ed remains a massive fan of the sport and couples his extensive contacts with an inexhaustable enthusiasm for the minutiae and the history of our sport.

Related Articles

Is La Vuelta too hard?

La Vuelta; have you seen the parcours? Brutal! In my opinion, too hard; if it was Italy or Spain they'd engineer it to suit the characteristics of the 'home boy,' but in España it's one for the mountain men - maybe they forgot that Alberto wasn't riding; that we may have seen the best of Carlos; that Valverde will have a bad day and that José Manuel Fuente and Luis Ocaña have left us (God rest their souls).

All To Play For

Talking to people who had been to the start in Holland and the stages through Belgium and Germany it was a great success which attracted bigger crowds than expected, if they could only have moved the Spanish weather there it would have been perfect.

The Aitana today…

Today the 204.7km eighth stage from Azlira to Alto de Aitana tackles seven rated climbs before the finish-line summit at the Aitana climb, rated 'especial' in the Vuelta as a stage ending atop a climb.

The VV View: Contract Negotiations and Grand Tour Podiums

I was coming down the 'parachutes' in the Transit on Friday - the old East 25 course - when I got the text message from Dave; 'Garcia and Hesjedal away with two K to go.' I was talking to Ryder only last night-about his great ride on stage 9, when he was second to Simon Gerrans; then the next text came in; 'Your man has won!'

Two Outa Three – Fabian Cancellara and Tyler Farrar

Fabian Cancellara - I got that one right; and I said that Tyler Farrar would be right up there, as Meat Loaf would say; "two outta three ain't bad!"

Adam Hansen – The Vuelta isn’t his Favourite Race Anymore!

Adam Hansen was just off the massage table when we caught up with him on Tuesday evening, we couldn't talk during massage because the masseur is a; "full on techno anthems, trance guy,"-just like Davie Urquhart, then? (Just joking, Davie!)

At Random

John Kennedy – Helping Simpson in Le Tour

July 1960, the GB Tour de France team hotel somewhere in France. Britain's white hope for Tour de France glory, the late, great Tom Simpson is discussing the events of the day with team mate, Brian Robinson. Simpson had punctured during the stage and one of his GB team domestiques had brought him back up to the bunch; "I'll tell you what, Brian - that John Kennedy is strong, he was riding like ten men today when we were coming back from that puncture."

Copenhagen Six Day 2011 – Day Five, The Final Sort-Out Begins

It's the last day of school today; the six day circus goes to ground until October when-God willing-we head south to Grenoble with its blue skies, snow capped mountains, Follies girls, great bread and French riders who smile, shake your hand and give you a 'ca va?' every time they see you-they may not be fast but they're nice guys. It's unlikely there will be any surprises tonight, Alex and Michael are well in charge; I hope that Jens and Marc hold on to second-they deserve it.

James McCallum – Too Strong for the Rest at the Rosneath Super Six

'Man in Black' James McCallum (Rapha Condor Sharp) was too strong for the rest in the second round of the Super Six at Rosneath on Sunday, showing the full field of 80 how it should be done when you're a full time bike rider. The former British criterium champion outsprinted Liam Cowie (Endura/Pedal Power Development Team) and Rob Wilkins to take the honours.

Shelley Verses – Pro Cycling’s First Female Soigneuse

Soigneurs; they shouldn’t be too young – they have to have lived a bit; they should be mysterious; surrounded by an aura of camphor and early season changing rooms; of few, gruff words; have hands like shovels... but blonde, cute, smiling, chatty, cheerful, Californian – and a woman? That was – and is – Ms. Shelley Verses, the first female to break into the closed world of pro cycling as a soigneur with Motorola, La Vie Claire, Toshiba and TVM.

Alex Rasmussen – Zwift Scandinavian Ambassador

Former World Scratch and Madison Champion, rapid roadman sprinter, not to mention Berlin, Bremen, Copenhagen, Ghent and Grenoble Six Day winner, Denmark’s Alex Rasmussen happens to be Zwift’s ‘man in Scandinavia’ – no-one better to ask about e-racing.

Le Tour de France 2014 – Stage 1; Leeds – Harrogate, 191 km. Kittel from Sagan!

Welcome to VeloVeritas' coverage of the Tour de France 2014. Stage one looked like a "truce" to VV - except for that finale, of course. We give our views on Cav and a few other aspects of the 2014 "Grand Boucle" (with a bittie to Yorkshire tacked on, that is.) You'd have to be devoid of a soul not to feel sorry for the man - even more so when he puts his hand up and says; "my fault!". Last year he wasn't at his best in le Tour, despite the stage wins. He'd finished a very hard Giro - aren't they all ? - and then rode the Tour.