Adam Hansen, the disbelieving national champion

Adam Hansen, 26, during the Team High Road presentation inside the Cuberley Theatre in Palo Alto, California.

Adam Hansen, 26, during the Team High Road presentation inside the Cuberley Theatre in Palo Alto, California. (Image credit: Jon Devich)

Adam Hansen of Team High Road won the Australian national time trial title – much to his own astonishment. Actually, he was hoping to win the road title, but was disappointed to only finish second in that race. The Aussie has now turned his attention to the 2008 season, and Cyclingnews' Susan Westemeyer caught up with him in California before the start of the Tour of California.

"It's kind of funny, I still don't look at myself as national champion," the 26 year-old said in disbelief of his time trial win six weeks ago. "I find it hard to believe that it's something that I have accomplished. I've competed in many different sports in my younger years and never really thought to become a national champion because I thought it was not possible I could be one. So while I love it, I don't always seem to remember."

Hansen had actually gone into the nationals hoping to win the road race and, well, just to survive the time trial. "I will still enter the time trial, for experience, and there's nothing like an hour of pain, err, fun," he said the beginning of January.

Having won the time trial, he then hoped to repeat in the road race, but he finished second behind Silence-Lotto's Matthew Lloyd, and was, he said, "pretty disappointed, I really wanted to do the double, but a better man won. That's the way it is and I was not that man. The course suits me to the ground and I had the form, but it goes back to the problem, I was not the better man."

Hansen got off to a reasonably good start with the team last year, and was thrilled to ride the Giro d'Italia in his first ProTour season. However, that came to a quick and abrupt halt, as he crashed on the second stage, breaking his right ring and little fingers in four places. Surgery was successful – "for riding the hand is perfect, but for some other things it's not so easy. Shaking someone's hand firmly hurts. So it's a little tender."

To find out more about Hansen, read the rest of the interview.

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