The man who won the Crocodile Trophy can also conquer the hills of San Francisco. Adam Hansen celebrated his T-Mobile debut with a surprising sixth place in the prologue of the Tour of California on Sunday. Cyclingnews' Susan Westemeyer caught up with him.
Hansen is known for his love of technology and how it can help him become a better cyclist but did without all those special aids on Sunday afternoon, deciding not to use a time trial bike. "I just used my normal road bike with shallow spoke wheels. So it was no disc, no aero-bars, no front aero wheels, nothing," he noted. "I went with a pretty relaxed view into the race as it was my first one."
It helped, too, that sport director Ralf Aldag and team manager Bob Stapleton supported an 'easy does it' approach to California for the 25 year-old. "With having Ralf and Bob there to tell me there was no pressure, it was a very relaxing feeling," described Hansen of the pair's support.
On Sunday, Hansen was the 17th rider to roll off the ramp and by the end of the 3.1 kilometre stage, the Cairns-born Australian had posted a time good enough to claim sixth position in the final wash up.
Even in such a short prologue, pacing oneself is of ultimate importance, especially when it features such a nasty climb to the finish line. As a former triathlete Hansen is well accustomed to pacing himself over a distance and it was this experience that he feels brought him home as the top T-Mobile rider on the stage.
For the full Tour of California feature, click here.