Hansen ready for Tour of Beijing campaign despite completing three Grand Tours in 2012
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Saturday, October 6, 2012

Hansen ready for Tour of Beijing campaign despite completing three Grand Tours in 2012

by VeloNation Press at 1:15 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour of Beijing
Henderson, Wellens also for Lotto Belisol, Marcyznski and Hoogerland lead Vacansoleil-DCM

Adam HansenHaving completed 98 days of racing already this year, surpassed over 15,000 kilometres in competition and finished the Giro, Tour and Vuelta, Adam Hansen has already proven his toughness.

However a month after he became the only rider to complete all three Grand Tours in 2012, and only the 32nd in history, he’s days from starting another stage race; on Tuesday the Australian will line out for Lotto-Belisol in the Tour of Beijing.

He, Greg Henderson and the climber Tim Wellens have been pinpointed as the three standout riders on the team for the race.

Sports director Michiel Elijzen lays out what he expects from the trio. “The course seems tougher than last year. There is no time trial and only the first stage will probably end with a bunch sprint. Greg Henderson is one of the fast men on the start list, so hopefully he can play an important role.

“In the next stages there is a lot of climbing to do. Our youngster and neo pro Tim Wellens has performed well the past few months, he’s a good climber and we’re giving him the chance to see how far he can get. He’s very motivated, has sometimes to be restrained, but he has shown a lot of character in Lombardia, for example.”

Hansen’s remarkable endurance – and evident masochism – will earn much media attention, but Elijzen also sees him as a strong and useful rider, providing he’s got something left in his batteries. “Adam Hansen is a man who can play a role on any terrain, but it will depend if he has recuperated well from the many race days he has had,” he said. “But he can be useful to Greg as well as Tim.”

Also on the squad are Kenny Dehaes, Gert Dockx, Maartin Neyens, Mehdi Sohrabi and Joost Van Leijen.

Wellens is the youngest on the team at 21 and is enthusiastic to show what he can achieve. “It’s the last race of the season, but I have not raced much, so I'm still very excited. The course should suit me,” he said. “I like to climb, but it remains to be seen how I can do in a WorldTour stage race. This is the ideal opportunity to see what the relationship is between my level and that of more experienced riders.

“For me it is very difficult to predict what is possible, but it is a dream to be in a WorldTour race.”

Vacansoleil led by Marcyznski, Hoogerland and Van Hummel:

Tomasz MarczynskiMeanwhile the Vacansoleil DCM team has put together a solid selection for the race, with the Polish rider Tomasz Marczynski and the aggressive Dutchman Johnny Hoogerland amongst those aiming for big results.

Marczynski was 13th overall in the recent Vuelta España and hopes that form has lasted long enough to make a real impression on the Beijing race. The second edition is more mountainous than the first and could suit both him and Hoogerland, a previous winner of the climber’s prize in the Tours of Poland and Britain.

Others on the team will target the flatter stages, giving the team several chances of success.

“With three fast men - Kenny Van Hummel, Pim Ligthart and Barry Markus - and three climbers - Johnny Hoogerland, Rob Ruijgh and Marczynski - we aim to be competitive in the sprints and general classification,” said the sport director Michel Cornelisse.

“We are looking to ride aggressively and attractively like the fans are used to seeing from Vacansoeil-DCM, and help play a key role in making the sport attractive all over the world.”

The team will be completed by Bert Jan Lindeman and Frederik Veuchelen. It begins on Tuesday.

Tour of Beijing (WorldTour), October 9 to 13:

Lotto Belisol:

Kenny Dehaes (Bel, 27)
Gert Dockx (Bel, 24)
Adam Hansen (Aus, 31)
Greg Henderson (NZL, 35)
Maartin Neyens (Bel, 29)
Mehdi Sohrabi (Irn, 30)
Joost Van Leijen (Ned, 28)
Tim Wellens (Bel, 21)


Johnny Hoogerland (Ned, 29)
Kenny Van Hummel (Ned, 29)
Bert Jan Lindeman (Ned, 23)
Pim Ligthart (Ned, 24)
Barry Markus (Ned, 21)
Tomasz Marczynski (Pol, 28)
Rob Ruijgh (Ned, 25)
Frederik Veuchelen (Bel, 34)


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