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“Is Tinkov just throwing around his money to make himself look good? No,” Lotto-Belisol’s Hansen said. “I think he wants Alberto Contador to do this and he wants the rest to join him."

Photo: Sirotti






16.10.2014 @ 18:23 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

If there’s any Professional cyclist entitled to share qualified opinion on the three Grand Tour challenge proposed by Oleg Tinkov, it must be Adam Hansen. Riding in the Lotto-Belisol outfit, the 33-year old Australian concluded his 10th consecutive three-week event in this year’s Vuelta and – having that experience - strongly supported the idea of the Tinkoff-Saxo owner.


Tinkov hasn’t offered Hansen his share in the 1 million prize for concluding the Grand Tour triple one more time, claiming that the Lotto-Belisol rider lacks talent or proper training to be competitive enough. Nonetheless, the 33-year old Australian called him a mad cycling fan and insisted that the eccentric Russian proposed the challenge rather to support a further development of the discipline than to promote himself – what it usually suggested in his case.


“Is Tinkov just throwing around his money to make himself look good? No,” Lotto-Belisol’s Hansen told Cycling Weekly. “I think he wants Alberto Contador to do this and he wants the rest to join him.


“He is a mad cycling fan. It would be cool if for a one-off year they all did this. I truly think he loves this and would love to watch them all gun it out.”


Hansen concluded his 10th consecutive three-week event in this year’s Vuelta a Espana and managed to claim two Grand Tour stages in those three seasons, but was never forced to seriously challenge best professional cyclists in his attempts. Lotto-Belisol rider admitted that riding all biggest stage races each season is a huge task physically and mentally, even without being a general classification contender.


“They have different body weight, leadership roles, number of race days and an extra zero on their contracts!” Hansen said.


“They will miss a lot of the other races and in the end, you won’t have all four finishing all three Grand Tours. Every year, at one major Grand Tour, you have at least two of them crash out.


“I’m more surprised I’m able not to crash out of mine and make it through in one piece.”


The 33-year old Australian also commented on Vincenzo Nibali’s (Astana) opinion, who called a challenge proposed by Tinkov “inhuman” and ruled himself out of such competition.


“In some was yes [it is inhuman],” Hansen said. “For me after the Vuelta, the Worlds team time trial was too much mentally. I couldn’t go home before. Mentally, it was so tough to be away from home for so long. I think people forget what two days at home can do for the mind.”


Nibali explained that if he and the other three cyclists did take Tinkov’s challenge, races such as Tirreno-Adriatico, Paris-Nice and the Critérium du Dauphiné would suffer.


“[You would have to skip] almost all races just before and directly after,” Hansen added.


“One positive thing is that you have less travel days, which do add up. I have a lot of periods where I can have big blocks at home and have more recovery time by racing all three Grand Tours.”



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