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"At the top I rode  for 500 meters with everyone in the wheel, I was swaying over the road then to look at everyone and see how they were feeling. I could see that everyone was on their limit and I knew it was time to go. I got a...

Photo: Sirotti






12.09.2014 @ 22:52 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Adam Hansen has constantly been attacking in this year's Vuelta a Espana and today he got his just reward when he made a smart move in the finale of stage 19. The Australian admitted that he had timed his attack a lot better this time.


Adam Hansen has been one of the most aggressive riders in the Vuelta a Espana and has launched lots of attacks in the finales. However, they have all been futile and going into today’s penultimate road stage, it seemed that both he and Lotto Belisol would leave the race empty-handed.


Hansen’s best chance was to join the early breakaway on a day when many expected the break to stay away but when the sprint teams had managed to let a 3-rider group take off, his options were limited. As expected, Giant-Shimano and Orica-GreenEDGE brought the early break back and the main question was whether John Degenkolb and Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEDGE) would be able to survive the final climb.


They did but as they had limited domestique ressources left, Hansen managed to make a smart move in the finale.


“In the beginning of the stage I did try a few times to get in the breakaway," he said. "Pim [Ligthart] had also been very active and he made it. It was very good that we had a man in front.


"I kind of had a back-up plan in mind; to attack in the finale. On the last climb of second category I took care of Maxime Monfort. I made sure he was in good position and stayed in the first group. I had told Greg Henderson earlier that this was a stage for me.


"After the climb there won’t be many lead-out men left, so if I would attack it would be difficult to catch me. I had tried in one of the first stages as well, but then they caught me with 500 meters to go. When we had finished the descent Maxime and I were part of the first group and he said to me that I could have a go.
“I wanted to go a bit later actually then I did. There were attacks at the bottom of the short climb at 5.5 km from the finish and I followed directly. It was very steep at the bottom. At the top I rode  for 500 meters with everyone in the wheel, I was swaying over the road then to look at everyone and see how they were feeling. I could see that everyone was on their limit and I knew it was time to go. I got a gap then.


"Today it was a better timing. The profile suited me a lot better. We have a lot of pressure from the team to do well here and as the days were counted down, the pressure built up.


"As a small group went to the final, the two main sprinters were John Degenkolb and Michael Matthews. Their lead out guys were very limited. They worked all day on the climbs. I knew if I could attack, it would be difficult for the lead out guys to bring me back.


"I did plan to shave my head this morning like when I won a stage at the Giro last year but I didn’t have time to. The only wacky thing I did was I had three pieces of strawberry bubble gums at the start and I was chewing them during the first thirty kilometers just break the mind a little bit and make the stage a bit easier.


"In the finale, I wanted to do something for sure. I attacked a bit earlier than I wanted to but I said ok, I had to keep it going and it’s surprise, surprise!
“I’m very satisfied. I already won a Giro stage and it’s nice to put a Vuelta stage in the collection. After the Giro stage I really wanted to win one in the Vuelta as well. This victory is very special, also because of how I won, I made the move in the final. It’s different than the Giro stage win, this is more spectacular.


"I had a Giro win, now I have a Vuelta win. I like to do the Grand Tours and the Vuelta is my favorite Grand Tour. It’s always good weather, I love Spain, I like the heat. To win in Spain at the Vuelta, it’s very special.


"I don’t have much energy left, that’s for sure. But next week I’ll do the team time trial of the Worlds and possibly the road race also. Then I’ll go to the Tour of Beijing and next year I hope I’ll have the exact same race program as I had in the last three seasons with the three Grand Tours."



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