Lasse Norman Hansen identifies top worlds performance as goal prior to turning pro with Garmin-Sharp
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Friday, May 31, 2013

Lasse Norman Hansen identifies top worlds performance as goal prior to turning pro with Garmin-Sharp

by Shane Stokes at 8:36 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Olympic champion relishing thoughts of two year WorldTour contract

Lasse Norman HansenConfidence boosted by the two year deal he has signed with the Garmin-Sharp team, Lasse Norman Hansen has laid out his ambitions for the remainder of 2013 and sees the world championships as being the biggest of those targets.

“I have still got a lot of goals for this season,” he told VeloNation, making clear that he will keep pushing hard. “Apart from the nationals that are just around the corner now, I have goals such as prologues and time trials at Thüringen Rundfahrt, the Tour de L'Avenir and the Tour of Denmark. But my main goal for this season is the world championships under 23 time trial.”

The Danish rider underlined his potential when he won the Olympic omnium title last summer, then took second in the prologue of the Tour de l’Avenir and fourth in the under 23 world championship time trial. Since then he has continued to clock up good results while competing with the Blue Water team.

He was first in the GP Herning in April and this month won the under 23 Rund um den Finanzplatz Ecshborn plus the time trial in the Tour of Berlin.

He was also third overall in the latter race plus on a stage of the Under 23 Course de la Paix.

For Hansen, these more recent achievements were also instrumental in securing his Garmin-Sharp deal. “I think that my Olympic title has opened the eyes of many, and I think that that has been a big factor in getting a pro contract,” he explained. “But I also think that it was important that I showed this spring that I can make results and win races on the road too.”

Hansen is just 21 years of age and so securing a two year deal with a WorldTour team is a big deal for him. He contacted the SEG Cycling agency over the winter and they helped secure the contract. Getting into a big team was important, but it had to be the right one. Also important was turning pro at the right time, although he states that the results of this spring gave him important reassurances that he is ready.

“I see the contract as something I have been working towards for a long time and which has now become a reality. I have had my doubts about when I would feel ready to take the step, but after this spring and all the success I have had on the road, I felt that now was the time,” he confirmed. “Garmin-Sharp came up with the perfect offer for me.”

If things go to plan, he’ll be successful in the targets he listed. A worlds medal or, ideally, a rainbow jersey would be the perfect way to end his amateur career. He was fourth in last year’s Under 23 TT and being a year older, it seems realistic that he could aim big.

Looking to 2014 and beyond, he accepts that it will likely take time to settle into life at the WorldTour level. If so, that’s fine with him.

“My ambition for the next two years with Garmin-Sharp is to develop myself as a cyclist, and se how far I can take myself,” he said. “It’s hard naming any specific goals at this time, because I still have a lot to learn.

“However I'll try to learn as much as possible and that way become as good as possible during the two years at Garmin-Sharp. For sure, if I get a chance to win a race or two, I will take it…”

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