Edoardo Rasetti looks at the incredible achievement of Lotto-Belisol's hard man Aussie, Adam Hansen, as he starts his eighth consecutive grand tour when the Giro kicks off in Ireland tomorrow.
For some riders completing a grand tour (Giro, Tour and Vuelta), which usually averages 3000-3500 kilometres, is an incredible feat in its own right, but for the Aussie Adam Hansen it is not a matter of finishing one GT but to finish as many as he can consecutively. When the Giro starts (May 9th) it will be Adams’ eighth grand tour. An incredible feat never accomplished by anybody before in the history of cycling.
Hansen is part of a special club that includes 32 members, which is the number of riders that have managed to successfully finish all three grand tour during their career. However he is missing a few GT to reach all time record holder of GT-finishes Eduardo Chozas, with 27 (6 Tours, 7 Giros and 14 Vueltas) GT succesfully finished.
Born on May 11 1981 in Southport (Queensland) in Australia, our hero has been riding professionally since 2007, when he joined the German T-Mobile, which later became Columbia and HTC-Highroad. Since 2011 he has been riding for the Belgian Lotto-Belisol, and since then he has stared his streak of GT finishes. To be precise the streak began on September the 11th 2011 when he completed the Spanish Vuelta.
After that he has gone forward to complete two Giros, two Tours and two Vueltas. He has also become a fan-favourite, as he is never afraid to go into breakaways. Unfortunately though Hansen doesen’t manage to win, as much he would deserve to. Throughout his professional career he has collected three victories, amongst which the 2008 Australian time trial championships.
Only last year’s Giro stage 7 is Hansen’s only GT stage victory (he is not a general classification contender) although it must be noted that it was truly a gem. Winning solo in 177km medium mountain stage after a day spent in a break under the pouring rain (which also cost Bradley Wiggins his chances of Giro victory). Chapeau.
Hansen has won the hearts of many fans not only because of his amazing performances on the two wheels but also because he is a great guy. Just take a look at his Twitter account in which he tweets superb pictures of Lotto-Belisol training camps and his exuberant shoes. His 52000 followers should be a hint as to how popular he is in the cycling world.