Adam Hansen hopes that his stage win and lead in the Ster Elektrotoer will be enough to secure a place on the HTC-Columbia Tour de France squad. Apart from the 2008 Australian national time trial title, it was his first win in four years for the team.
The 29-year-old was in the escape group of the day, which finished over 16 minutes ahead of the peloton. He jumped from 18th overall to first place, going into the race's final stage with 15-second lead over Topsport Vlaanderen's Johan Coenen.
The race started with multiple escape attempts by large groups, and Directeur Sportif Tristan Hoffman kept after the team to get into the groups.
“The plan worked well and I made it into the main group,” Hansen told Cyclingnews on Saturday night. “The course was very hard and there were attacks going everywhere I always made the front group.
“On the last lap before the final climb we had 36 seconds in front of Pieter Weening from Rabobank. I knew he was 11 seconds up on me in GC and in those last 3kms we slowed down and it went from 36 to 17 just before the final climb.”
Looking to the finale, Hansen said, “I wanted to wait for the sprint but I had to make a move before that to keep the distance to Weening, Björn Leukemans was the only one who stayed with me over the final climb, we sat up a bit and the others came back and it came to a sprint, so I started with just under 200m to go.”
Hansen is on the team's long list to ride the Tour de France, and he has good hopes of riding the race for the second time. “I've been riding really well coming into this. So I was hoping to do something in this race to show myself for the Tour team. (Directeur Sportif) Alan Peiper and (Sport Director) Rolf Aldag have changed my season for this reason, so its looking good. One can only hope.”
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