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Adam Hansen (Omega Pharma-Lotto) rode well in support of Gilbert.
Omega Pharma-Lotto director Michiel Elijzen says team is excited to race Down Under
Having forged his early career in the hot north of Australia at the Crocodile Trophy, Omega Pharma-Lotto rider Adam Hansen will be trying something completely different when he lines up for the Jayco Herald Sun Tour.
The 30-year-old has never ridden the prestigious Victorian stage race and is extra motivated to end his season on a high after making the long-lists for his two major objectives, the Tour de France and recent UCI Road World Championships – and then not making the final selections.
"I really enjoy racing in countries with nice weather and with the Jayco Herald Sun Tour being in Australia it’s a great way for me to end my season," Hansen said. "It will also be my time at the race and I’m looking forward to finally racing it.
The native Queenslander is a former national time trial champion, but rarely gets the chance to ride for the general classification at a race. The Jayco Herald Sun Tour, which has invited teams and athletes from all over the world, will be a great opportunity for Hansen to show what he can do in internationally recognised stage race.
"Overall it would be nice if we win a stage and prove we are there to put a show on. It’s exciting for all of our riders to come to Australia and race. We are all really motivated," Hansen said.
Hansen will be ably supported by an Omega Pharma-Lotto roster bulging with talent. The squad includes Jens Debusschere, Vicente Reynés, Kenny Dehaes, Maarten Neyens and Olivier Kaisen.
Speaking ahead of the race, Omega Pharma-Lotto Sport Director Michiel Elijzen explained that the team has plenty of options, and that along with Hansen’s ambitions for the overall, stage wins will be a big focus.
"I expect the same as the Tour of Beijing. We have a good chance of riding well in the general classification with Adam Hansen and all the other riders should be capable of winning a stage."
Elijzen also added that he was excited be taking the team to Australia, having had the intention of coming ‘Down Under’ for a long time.
"It's my first time to Australia and I'm really excited about it," Elijzen said. "It's an honour that our team is invited in the Jayco Herald Sun Tour and as with all the other races this year we will try to finish the season with good results.
"Australia has a great tradition of very good riders and for a sports director and a rider it's a must to have been in Australia to race against the national and international stars of Australian cycling. We are all looking forward to a good time and a good ending of the season!"
Omega Pharma-Lotto for Jayco Herald Sun Tour: Jens Debusschere (Bel), Kenny Dehaes (Bel), Adam Hansen (Aus), Olivier Kaisen (Bel), Maarten Neyens (Bel), Vicente Reynés (Spa)