By Susan Westemeyer
Adam Hansen is still coming back from hand injuries suffered in the Giro d'Italia, but is satisfied with how things are going. "The hand is doing well, not perfect, but well enough to ride. Getting back into the season is not the easiest thing to do," he told Cyclingnews.
The Australian, who rides for T-Mobile, crushed his right ring and little fingers in the crash, and they were put back together with a number of metal screws and plates.
Right now Hansen is riding the Tour de l'Ain, and doing quite well. "I'm very happy with my 13th today in the Queen stage. That was a good result for me on the mountain top finish."
He went into a bit more detail on his website, adamhansen.com. The entire race, he has been determined to get into a breakaway, and Tuesday was no exception. "I sat in and didn't do anything for a while till I saw a small break go, then came from the back and jumped across. It looked like it was too far to go, but when I made it I think it made the others in the bunch think, oh it's possible, so some of them went spastic and just launched attacks to chase us down. We didn't get too far..."
On the final climb, the "Crocodile Man" went to help stagiaire Marcel Beima. "There was a little fight to the base of the climb, and I stayed clear of it. I thought this time I wouldn't play the game, waste my energy for good position and just ride my own pace to Marcel and then help him out. We hit the climb and I think I was 50th or so. I rode my own pace to catch him and by the time I caught him, two kilometres into the climb he had already been dropped from the first group of about 30 riders or so."
"I was feeling good and since he [Marcel] wasn't going well so early [on the climb]I thought I might have a shot at it. I chased the first group and it took me until about the four-kilometre mark to be in the top group. There were attacks going on and I just sat at the back and rode past the guys getting dropped."
"I didn't really want to play the game of pace changing, but there was bit of headwind, so it was in my interest to stay with them as long as possible. I was going well and the group just got smaller and smaller," he noted.
At this point, a problem with Directeur Sportif Valerio Piva arose. "Valerio was always good in the car, telling me only four kilometres to go, but then turning a corner and seeing the five kilometre sign -- these are things that can crack a cyclist so easily! But I managed to still keep the pace high to the end of the race. Getting 13th for me on this mountain top stage is a really good result."
Looking to the rest of the season, he is scheduled to ride the Vattenfall Cyclassics ProTour race in Hamburg and the Eneco Tour, followed by a number of one-day races.
Hansen is also pleased that the team's sponsor decided to continue. "I'm grateful T-Mobile is staying. People look at a rider testing positive as a bad thing. I see it as a good thing. It means all these extra controls are working and the sport is getting cleaner. You can't complain about that."