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"The fourth place is a very good result considering everything. The Tirreno-Adriatico isn't a main  goal and I can't be good in every race. This is a transfer period for me. My job here was to help Van den Broeck and Greip...

Photo: Sirotti






17.03.2014 @ 10:30 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

With his amazing stage win in last year's Giro d'Italia, Adam Hansen has proved that he knows how to finish off long-distance breakaways in tough terrain. Yesterday he tried to do it again and despite not being in his best form, he took fourth in the hard Tirreno-Adriatico stage.


Yesterday a tough job waited for the riders in Tirreno-Adriatico. To reach the finish they had to cover the feared Muro di Guardiagrele. This hill, of which is said it's the steepest street in Italy, has peaks up to 30%. Adam Hansen animated the stage by joining a long breakaway. In the final he was still strong and became fourth.
Immediately after the start Adam Hansen took the initiative to join a breakaway. After fifteen kilometers a front group of eight was formed. The leaders had a gap up to twelve minutes, but the bunch was controlled by Movistar, Tinkoff - Saxo and Omega Pharma – Quick-Step.  In the final the riders had to get over the Passo Lanciano. Here the battle began. Alberto Contador jumped away from the group of favourites. In the meantime there was a duo in front: Simon Geschke and Benjamin King.
On the Passo Lanciano Hansen got the company of Contador, a few kilometers before the top. They passed that top 49" behind the leaders. Just after the descent of 16,4 kilometers they joined the three leaders, because De La Cruz had rejoined his former companions on the climb. Just before the steep parts of the Muro di Guardiagrele De La Cruz got dropped again. Contador rode solo to the stage win, before Geschke and King. Hansen took fourth after a long break and strong ride.
"It was the plan to be in the break today," Hansen said. "I took off with two guys on the first uphill part of the day. We waited for five other riders. The eight of us worked all very well together. I didn't come to this race with my best condition, because it is not one of my main goals. So my climbing wasn't super and I lost contact with the first guys in front.
"I went a bit easier when I was by myself. I heard riders were coming from the back and I definitely wanted to be under the two kilometer sign of the Passo Lanciano. Eventually it was just Contador alone who joined me and I jumped on his wheel. I knew he was going for the win. He led in the last kilometers of the climb and we did the descent together and I helped a little on the flat."
"I wanted to ride my own tempo on the Muro di Guardiagrele, because I knew If I had problems I would have to walk. I thought the last climb would be much harder. We covered a certain climb in the Vuelta and everyone said today's climb was much harder, but that wasn't the case.
"The fourth place is a very good result considering everything. The Tirreno-Adriatico isn't a main  goal and I can't be good in every race. This is a transfer period for me. My job here was to help Van den Broeck and Greipel. I am a little bit disappointed because I had a chance to win today, but I'm not in the best shape. I can't beat Contador, but in a better condition the race could have evolved differently.
"But I'm on schedule. The Tour Down Under was very good. Then I had a rest period before Tirreno. I'm very fresh and I had a very good base training. My preparation for Giro, Tour and Vuelta is going very well. Next is Milan – Sanremo. I would like to be good in the Tour of Turkey and carry that form to Giro for which I have personal ambitions."
You can read our preview of stage 6 here.



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