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Giro d’Italia commences live this weekend on Eurosport @Foxtel

SportKevin Perry
  Adam Hansen  image -

Adam Hansen
image -

There’s no greater advocate for cycling on Eurosport Australia than Adam Hansen. The 32-year-old Queenslander is the ironman of the peloton. He races more events than any other rider and is about to embark on his eighth consecutive Grand Tour.

Eurosport Australia will again be the home of cycling this May broadcasting all 21 stages of the 97th Giro d’Italia. For the 11th time in its history the Giro d'Italia will start outside of Italy. It begins in Belfast, in Northern Ireland, with two stages around the city and then a stage south to Dublin before the plane transfer to Italy.

The peloton then heads past the vineyards from Barbaresco to Barolo, up the climbs of Oropa, Plan di Montecampione and Ponte di Legno and through the Friuli region for the Queen stage up the slopes of Monte Zoncolan on Stage 20.

For Hansen, the task of riding his eighth consecutive Grand Tour is no longer a novelty. It is something he loves doing, and something his teammates have just accepted.

“I just love it,” Hansen told Eurosport Australia. 

“The first year my teammates thought I was crazy. The second year they just thought I’m trying to do it again and this year they are just accepting it’s normal for me now.

“I would like to do it as long as I can. Why not see what is possible.”

In 2012, Hansen became just the second Australian behind Neil Stephens to complete all three Grand Tours – the Giro d’italia, the Tour de France, and the Vuelta a Espana – in one calendar year. He was also the only rider to accomplish that feat that season. If that wasn’t enough, he did it again in 2013, and is eyeing off another three peat in 2014.

“I think if you are well prepared the hard part is not the feat of completing it but more getting through it healthy and safely…. I would hate to crash out,” Hansen said.

“As long as I don’t crash out or get sick, I think I can keep doing the Grand Tours for at least five more years.” 

Hansen is coming off a ninth place finish at the Tour of Turkey last week and has his sights set on more Giro glory after triumphing on Stage 7 last year.

“I badly want a stage win,” he said. 

“For the Giro I have a free card and I’ll be going for a stage win and helping a bit for the GC and sprints.”

And when Hansen’s not doing his best for the team, you might find him lingering at the tail of the peloton waiting for a beer.

At last year’s Tour de France, the Gold Coast local gladly claimed a beer from revellers at the summit of the famed Alpe d’Huez. When we quizzed him if he’d stop for a pint of Guinness while in Ireland, he said “hahahaha, yeah maybe.”

Hansen joins a strong contingent of Australians at this year’s Giro d’Italia including Cadel Evans, David Tanner, Nathan Haas and Orica-GreenEdge’s Luke Durbridge, Michael Hepburn, Michael Matthews, Brett Lancaster, Cameron Meyer and Mitchell Docker. Evans will be hoping to improve upon his third place finish at last year’s race.

Eurosport Australia’s coverage starts with a delayed broadcast (perfect for cycling fans in Australia) of the opening stage team time trial at 7.45am on Saturday May 10, with LIVE coverage of Stages 2-20 from 10.30pm AEST*. See schedule below: