Impressive Hansen five days from completion of third Grand Tour in 2012
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Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Impressive Hansen five days from completion of third Grand Tour in 2012

by VeloNation Press at 6:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Vuelta a España
 
Australian strongman close to rare achievement

Adam HansenAdam Hansen is inching closer and closer to what will be a major achievement; all going well, the Australian will race into Madrid this Sunday as the only rider this season to complete three Grand Tours in the same year. In doing so, he will become what is thought to be only the 32nd rider ever to do so; a very select group.

“I'm on schedule,” he said. “But you can notice it's not that simple. In the first week I crashed with Valverde [on stage four – ed.]. My Vuelta was almost over there, but a quick visit to the hospital showed that wasn't the end. In the second week, some of the teammates got a virus, but luckily I wasn't one of them."

Heading into the Vuelta, Hansen had ridden close to12,000 kilometres in competition this year and, after placing 94th in the Giro and 81st in the Tour de France, he decided he was up for the challenge. He’s got five more stages to go, including Saturday’s mountain leg to Bola Del Mundo.

He’s got clear targets in mind, even if he’s personally running out of time to chase stage success.

“Defending a good GC place for Bart De Clercq is the first objective, and beside that we will try to bring Gianni Meersman to the finish on the stages which are his cup of tea. Before the start of the Vuelta I hoped to have my chance to go in a breakaway, but it hasn't worked out yet.”

Even so, he’ll have a huge sense of achievement when he reaches the finish, and for good reason. “This is one of the toughest, no, the toughest tour I have ever ridden” he said. “It's all about finding a good group in the mountain stages to get to the finish line.

"When I enter Madrid on Sunday, I will have a very good feeling; It's a dream come true. Not many riders have succeeded in finishing in three big tours in one year.”

Incredibly, despite the massive volume of racing that he’ll have covered by then, Hansen intends to keep competing for a while longer this year. “I end my season in Beijing,” he confirmed. “Afterwards I will fully enjoy my vacation.” He’ll have earned it…

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