Hansen changes sights to Tour Down Under

Adam Hansen (Columbia) climbs the hill and showed good form

Adam Hansen (Columbia) climbs the hill and showed good form (Image credit: Brenton Logan)

By Susan Westemeyer

Adam Hansen had hoped to come away with two Australian national titles but instead had to settle for one third place. Still, the Columbia rider wasn't too unhappy, and was already turning his sights toward the upcoming Tour Down Under.

For the road race, "I felt really good and it's easy for me to come there with good fitness, as I have no problems with distractions of races and can focus on training," he told Cyclingnews.

He caught Columbia teammate Michael Rogers and eventual winner Peter McDonald (Drapac Porsche) "with two kilometres to go and went straight past and was clear. Peter got me with one kilometre to go and Michael [Rogers] was on his wheel. He made his final move a little after. It wasn't a sprint finish. I would have liked it to be, but it didn't end up that way.

"So that all aside," he said, "I felt great and happy with my performance. I just wish Rogers or I could have walked away with the jersey. That would have been perfect."

The Tour Down Under "should be an exciting one," the 27-year-old said. His team hope to repeat its win from last year, when sprinter André Greipel won four stages on his way to the overall title.

This year, however, Michael Rogers and George Hincapie will be going for the win. Mark Renshaw, Greg Henderson and Bernhard Eisel will help prepare the sprints for Greipel.

"I hope to also play a good support role. I enjoyed helping Greipel last year and I hope to be a part of something special this year too," Hansen said.

Lance Armstrong's return will help make the race an exciting one. "It's very special what he is doing. In a sense, he is risking everything for his 'Livestrong Foundation', which shows how important and serious he is about fighting cancer. That's impressive."

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