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“Personally I think, there’s only going to be three good chances for me and you give it everything on those three days,” Adam Hansen said.

Photo: Sirotti

ADAM HANSEN

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GIRO D'ITALIA

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LOTTO SOUDAL

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16.05.2014 @ 06:58 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

Riding his eight consecutive three-week event and with another dramatic day in the saddle under his belt, Adam Hansen is chasing a right opportunity to repeat his last year’s success and claim another stage victory from a breakaway. Having already completed fourteen grand tour events in his career, the Lotto Belisol rider shares his deep insight into an anatomy of day’s breakaway and explains a complexity of factors deciding whether a move could be successful or not.

 

Lining up at the 2014 edition of the Giro d’Italia, Hansen made it clear that apart from simply finishing sound and safe the season’s first grand tour event, his main ambition is to repeat his last year’s success and claim another stage victory from a breakaway. On this occasion, the 33-year old Australian explained that early phases of forming such move significantly differ from one three-week race to another, and in the Giro it’s all about keeping the Italian squads satisfied.

 

 “It’s always different. In the Vuelta it is much easier to be in breaks, the Vuelta’s a build-up for the world’s and is used more for training.”

 

“In the Giro, the breaks go when the Italian teams are happy. You’ve got to watch these guys because if they’re not in the break then the directors will say ‘this is the biggest race of the year for them so we have to get in it. They’re also very active in that way.”

 

“The Tour is a very different event in that way, because it’s a more international event.”

 

Obviously, once a breakaway is formed, its composition together with stage’s profile and current situation in the general classification are most decisive factors determining whether there is a chance for the move to stay clear until the finish line.

 

“Take today [stage six]. It should be easy to get in a break, because a lot of guys have lost a lot of time, and I think the main priority for Orica-GreenEdge is to keep the jersey.”

 

“So today they want a break to go, because if [that didn’t happen] and it does come down to a sprint finish of ten [GC] guys and Weening is still there, then Cadel will probably beat him and Urán will too, and with the time bonuses one of them will take the jersey.”

 

“So Orica will let a break go, and against that BMC and Omega might not let it go. But they don’t want to get the jersey then they will let the break go because no-one who’s here to win overall really wants the jersey so early.”

 

Hansen pointed out, however, that personal ambitions of the leaders and as important as more general teams’ politics and while for many teams, especially Pro Continental squads, showing their jerseys in breakaways is a goal itself, as long as he aims to win a stage he needs to stay very attentive in order to chose a right move carefully.

 

“We’ll say ‘stage five is a good breakaway day’ but then suppose Michael Matthews says he wants to win. As soon as he says that, it’s no longer going to work out.”

 

This, in Hansen’s opinion, explains why stage five’s long-distance move failed to stick. “The only reason it didn’t was because Matthews felt he could win [at Viggiano]” - and the non-existent collaboration from other teams in pulling back the move would corroborate that theory - “and only because of that, then they wouldn’t have ridden so hard into a headwind all day and the break would have made it to the finish.”

 

“So you do pick your breaks, but on stage five I had no intention of doing so because I knew what Matthews had said about winning.”

With so many Grand Tours under his belt, Hansen says the experience and knowledge that brings helps him “because you know the other riders, you know the teams, you learn how they work. And then on the days you know that it won’t go, you ease back and recover and on the days you think it will go, you give it everything.”

 

“Personally I think” - external factors like how the race is shaping, which are impossible to predict “there’s only going to be three good chances for me and you give it everything on those three days.”

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