It’s almost a Tour de France tradition for the pre-race talk to not be centred around the upcoming edition, but instead, around the drama taking place off the bikes.
After a thrilling victory in stage seven of this year’s Giro d’Italia, Adam Hansen is one Aussie rider with reason to celebrate what has been a taxing first Grand Tour of 2013.
In some of his precious down time during La Corsa Rosa, Adam answered some questions from GreenEDGEfans.
GreenEDGEfans: As a shy guy and self-confessed introvert, what was it like to be in the spotlight after you breakaway stage win?
Adam Hansen: It was nice to experience being on the podium at the Giro, but I was very quick to step off. I’m not such a huge fun of the attention. Interviews I don’t mind so much, that feels more one on one.
GEF: I am sure you were approached for many interviews, how does that side of professional cycling go?
AH: I’m always willing to do an interview, that’s part of the job, interviews are another way us cyclist can push our sponsors. So I’m all for it.
GEF: Your breakaway companion in stage seven on the 2013 Giro d’Italia and great climber Emanuele Sella (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) slipped on the wet roads. In the end you sat-up to wait for him, what calculations and/or decisions did you have to make to do so?
AH: On the climb before I felt I was stronger than him, and the final climbs had to be taken seated because of the slippery roads, this was in my favour as Sella likes to stand.
At the time he crashed, I knew he could not drop me and I would get him in the sprint. Where he crashed there was massive headwind and it was still a long way to go before the finish. I thought I would use him a bit.
GEF: Eventually you had to shed Sella. When did you think you were going to win the stage?
AH:Not until I was on the final flat part, I always thought the bunch would come, that’s what normally happens right?
GEF: During stage seven there were many comments on social media and even on TV, commentating about your climbing prowess. You never have been a bad climber but certainly during that stage you showed some class, has there been more of a focus on climbing?
AH: I have been working on my climbing a lot and it’s starting to pay back now. When I’m in the break and have a chance of winning, for sure everyone rides a level better.
GEF: Your development of a new type of shoe has been documented and I wish you great success with this. How do you think you go competing with the major players in cycling shoes?
AH: This I am not interested in, this is more for fun and to help push my other products. I’m not in it for the competition, I just want to produce products how I would want them to be. Other companies can do their own thing, that’s fine.
GEF: You also have started marketing clothing through your website www.hanseeno.com. Again, you are competing in a saturated market, what makes your products different?
AH: Like with the shoes, the clothing is saturated, that’s for sure, but the jerseys and everything you can buy is all the same, my cycling clothing line is different.
GEF: What is your race program post the Giro looking like?
AH: Garmin ProRace Berlin, Ster ZLM Toer, GP Jan van Heeswijk and then Tour de France.
GEF: You were generous enough to meet with a part time and very amateur cycling journalist during the Tour Down Under, what circumstances from your past make you take the time?
AH: I will do any interview with anybody, it’s part of my job and for some journalists it could be a very big deal for them, so why not help them also?
(GEF: Thanks Adam, yes it’s a big deal for this little fish!)
GEF: After your victory we learnt you have Italian lineage, you have not spoken about your family until then, so tell us about growing up in northern Queensland
AH: This is complicated. My mother’s side is Italian, they came over and got into the sugar cane business. I was born on the Gold Coast, moved to Cairns, then Hong Kong, Taiwan, back to Gold Coast then back to Cairns.
Mainly family business and divorce were the reasons of always moving. So I grew up on the move constantly.
GEF: What support from your family allowed you to grow to be an champion cyclist
AH: My mother was so good at that time when I was a teenager she let me do all sports. I did a range from rugby union, basketball, cross country, athletics, triathlon and then cycling. Mother supported my sport and I just kept at it.
GEF: Are you planning of coming back and having another crack at the Aussie Road race titles – such a long season?
AH:Yeah, I will be there. One day I will have the chance for the win!
Follow Adam on twitter @HansenAdam