Introducing our guest VeloVoice, David Fletcher, a 15-year-old cycling journalist who has the knack for being in the right place at the right time. He’s British but lives in Galicia, Spain and runs his own blog, sprint-final. He nabbed the attention of a few riders in this year’s Vuelta and will be sharing some interviews with us. First up, the mighty Adam Hansen!
On a warm evening in Madrid, 11 September, Adam Hansen crossed the finish line of his 16th consecutive Grand Tour. Starting that many is amazing enough, but not crashing out, getting sick or falling outside the time limit for that many GTs plus two solo stage wins along the way and it’s downright legendary! However, it does make you wonder how long this might go on for – or indeed how long Hansen would want to keep adding GTs to the record.
I hope to do other things in my career, but it’s something that I like… I think I’ll keep going, it’s enjoyable for me and it’s not a bad thing to have against my name. I’ll continue racing until I’m at least 40, so another 5 years. Even 42, I guess.
Hansen celebrating his solo win on Stage 19 of the 2014 Vuelta
Being one of the most experienced riders in the peloton, the Aussie has seen a lot of changes over the past 10 years.
I think the biggest changes are the tactics of how everyone races. It’s a lot more controlled now, that’s one thing. The sprint trains are more organised, that’s another. They’re probably the main things. I think everything is getting much more ‘closed’, the results are a bit closer together, everyone is a bit more reserved. I suppose the organisation is getting better!
One of the many slogans of this great character has become one of the most famous quotations of the sport, ‘Rest is as important as kilometres’. ‘Croc Man’ insists this is one of the keys to his success and seems disappointed with those who train too much.
I think a lot of cyclists and triathletes overtrain themselves, which is a bit of a shame. Cycling has a very strong history and culture. Because of this, people are a bit stuck in their ways. When something works they like to stick at it, they don’t like to try different things.
I like to experiment a little. I’m very interested in the numbers and everything. I’m my biggest ‘test dummy’. When I see or read something on the net that looks interesting, a study or an article, I try it out. If it works I add it to my programme, if it doesn’t then I discard it.
Rain couldn’t dampen his celebration when Hansen won Stage 7 of the 2013 Giro d’Italia
Hansen’s knowledge of the sport makes you wonder whether his future job will be as a directeur sportif, but he waves away the suggestion – although he’ll keep his sports clothing company, Hanseeno.
I don’t think I will work in cycling afterwards. I’ll put it away. Almost certainly focus on something different while staying in the Czech Republic. I’ll always have Hanseeno. It’s a good little thing I have, it’s a lot of fun, I enjoy it.
But will anyone be capable of dethroning Adam Hansen from his title of most consecutive Grand Tour starts and finishes?
I hope not. I honestly don’t think that anyone will start it. They’re intelligent enough…
Let’s finish off with a quick-fire round of questions about his Lotto-Soudal teammates!
Best dresser: Jens Debusschere
Worst dresser: Myself. I like chilling in a tracksuit.
Worst dancer: You’d think that with a question like this it’d be one of the quiet ones like Sander Armée, but they say that the quiet ones have the most skeletons in their closet, so maybe he is the best dancer. I’d go with the tallest guy, Marcel Sieberg.
Best guy to share a room with: Myself! I’m rooming with myself now and it’s been quite good. This is the first time I’ve roomed alone in the last 16 Grand Tours.
Longest in the shower: Sorry Lars [Bak], but if it’s a rainy day you do like to scrub your shoes, jersey, everything and I’ll be waiting… But he is one of the best roomies so I’ll give him that credit.
Header: Adam Hansen on stage 3 Vuelta a Espana at Mirador de Ezaro © David Fletcher