Adam Hansen is hoping to take a second consecutive Australian Open Road Cycling Championship in tomorrow's time trial, before going on to win Sunday's road race. Hansen surprised the cycling purists at his inaugural appearance in the championships last year by winning the 39 km individual time trial, then finishing runner-up to hill-climbing specialist Matt Lloyd in the 163km road race.
Cairns-based Hansen was previously best known for twice winning the gruelling 14-day Crocodile Trophy mountain bike race in Northern Australia. The former triathlete recently signed a two-year extension of his contract with Team Columbia where his team mates include three-times time trial World Champion, Michael Rogers and another Aussie Tour de France rider, Mark Renshaw.
Riding for Columbia in the 2008 Tour de France he acted as lead-out man for British speed sensation Mark Cavendish who won four stages.
"The Tour de France was a pretty unbelievable experience," Hansen said. "It was a bit of a shock to the system, really.
"I felt a lot of pressure going into the race as a domestique, but that's what I am," said Hansen. "I want to be the best domestique that I can be."
Hansen's role as a lead-out man for other riders will take a back seat this week in Buninyong where he hopes to retain his time trial title on Thursday, then claim victory in Sunday's road race.
"My goal is to win both races," he said. "I know nobody has ever won the double before, but there's a first time for everything and I am a lot better prepared this year."
The six-event championships have attracted a staggering 407 entries. A record field of 134 will contest the men's road race over 16 laps of the acclaimed Buninyong circuit which last year attracted 17,000 spectators.
The field includes seven Tour de France riders, plus former Buninyong road race winners Darren Lapthorne, Matt Wilson and Lloyd.