Adam Hansen wasn't expecting much from the Australian National time trial championship, except "an hour of pain, er, fun." But in the end, the fun outweighed the pain, as he won the title by 52 seconds over Rory Sutherland, in what he told Cyclingnews was "a good day".
The 39 km course was hilly and windy, he said on his website. He started off hard and his first target was the rider who had started one minute before him. "At the top of the hill I was pretty close to him already. But I backed off a little between the two hills just to save myself for the next. Each hill I rode with a super high cadence, always sitting down in the seat with an aero position trying to save as much energy as possible and not over-cooking myself." Overheating was a definite problem, with the Australian summer temperatures soaring to the 40° Celsius mark.
Once the first rider was caught, the next one came in sight, and the next one, too. The rider who had started two minutes earlier was overtaken before Hansen hit the long straight section. "It was different compared to the times I rode before the race. We had a massive headwind. I could see my third rider in sight and slowly pulled him in. I must admit, I wasn't feeling so good on the flat section but kept at it while trying to pass the third."
At that point things started going poorly, the 26 year-old said. "I had problems sitting on my seat and kept having to shift myself and losing my rhythm, I was starting to lose it but soon as the hills came up I was back in focus and dropped a few gears down, kept in the aero position and stayed focused. I made up lots of time for sure in the last eight kilometres. I was pacing myself really well."
Finally it was all over. "I crossed the line with the fastest time and it was a waiting game to see if Cameron or Mr Day was quicker, the wait felt pretty long and I couldn't believe that my time stood and I became the Australian Champion."