Omega Pharma Lotto’s Adam Hansen to chase overall win in Herald Sun Tour
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Friday, September 30, 2011

Omega Pharma Lotto’s Adam Hansen to chase overall win in Herald Sun Tour

by VeloNation Press at 6:23 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
Australian has chance to impress on home soil

Adam HansenHaving spend much of his career riding for others, Adam Hansen will get the opportunity to show what he can do when he competes on home soil in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour next fortnight.

Often part of Andre Greipel’s leadout train, the Omega Pharma Lotto rider will himself be backed by the rest of the squad in the 2.1-ranked event, which runs from Wednesday 12th to Sunday 16th of October. The overall GC will be a goal, as well as stage wins in the race.

Although Hansen is Australian, he hasn’t ridden the event before and is looking forward to the opportunity to finally do so.

“It’s going to be nice, that's for sure,” he said. “I really enjoy racing in countries with nice weather and with the Jayco Herald Sun Tour being in Australia it’s a great way for me to end my season. It will also be my first Jayco Herald Sun Tour and I’m looking forward to finally racing it.”

Hansen came to prominence thanks to mountain biking, with the rider winning the Crocodile Trophy in 2004 and 2005. Since then he’s won the Australian time trial title, twice finished second in the road race, and last year won a stage plus the overall of the Ster Elektrotoer.

This season has been a quiet one in terms of personal results, but riding the Vuelta a España should give him a strong base for his final appointment of the year. He said that he and the team will start the race in an ambitious frame of mind.

“Overall it would be nice if we win a stage and prove we are there to put a show on. It’s exciting for all of our riders to come to Australia and race. We are all really motivated,” Hansen said.

He will be backed by former Belgian under 23 time trial champion Olivier Kaisen, 2005 Paris-Nice stage winner Vicente Reynes, the 2010 junior Paris-Roubaix runner-up Jens Debusschere, the sprinter Kenny Dehaes, plus Maarten Neyens, who is in his first year at the top pro level.

Like Hansen, Kaisen has previously competed in the country but will be making his debut in the event. As Europe slips towards winter, he’s relishing the thoughts of getting some warm-weather racing in there. “I have already ridden the Tour Down Under four times and the Jayco Herald Sun Tour will be my fifth race in Australia. I like this country. I hope my good form at the moment will continue,” he said.

“I hope we can have good results there. I think Adam Hansen will be motivated to do good things in his own country.”

While Hansen listed a team stage win as the goal they will be aiming for, this may well be a tactic to keep the pressure down. Directeur sportif Michiel Elijzen is setting his sights higher, saying that the team want to chase general classification success.

“The team goals are helping Adam Hansen ride a good general classification and individually, everybody's ambition is to try to win a stage,” he explained.

“I expect the same as the Tour of Beijing. We have a good chance of riding well in the GC with Adam Hansen and all the other riders should be capable of winning a stage. I expect a hard but beautiful race and a good time to enjoy Australia.”

He added that he plans to take a holiday there after the race finishes. Several of the riders may also opt to do so, with time in Australia helping refresh the mind and legs after a tough year. The best tonic though is success; if the team pulls off the overall win, it will boost morale in advance of important winter training.

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