This article is in the Features category, and was posted on 13/03/2007.
Interview with Adam Hansen (Team T-Mobile) (Author: Nik Hill)
An exclusive interview with T-Mobileís Adam Hansen aka Weight Weenies forum member Zakeen.
(Photo: William Knose)
WW: Adam, thank you for giving us the time in your hectic schedule to answer these questions.
First question: did you think you would become a pro cyclist?
Adam: Yes and no. I came to Europe to become a Pro but as you get older people say its not possible. There are so many people saying if you donít make it at the age of 21-23 then you have no chance. I made it at the age of 25. Which shows its possible. So I always thought I would be, but when people fill your head with stuff like this, then you start to think differently.
WW: Regarding bike set-up. How much input do you have and how has the professional advice been?
Adam: We donít get much at all. Which I think is a little sad. I think some people underestimate others.
WW: Do you have to use 100% of the sponsored equipment?
WW: Any tricks of the trade you have learnt that you could share with us?
Adam: Regarding performance, itís all in the head. Regarding the bike, you must feel confident on it to ride your best.
WW: Could you give us a brief summary of what your diet, gym work and other training consists of?
Adam: My diet is very healthy, but contains to many calories. I donít eat any dairy, pork, lollies and never junk food. So its good in that way. Gym work is done when I have time, between races and the correct time during training. This plays an important part towards my training. Normal riding has a bit of everything. Must focus on your weak points and canít forget anything. Lotís of solid rides with intervals. Burning kjís is important. Some sessions must involve a high amount of kjís being spent.
WW: How do you balance your relationship with any significant others and/or family whilst living so far away from home?
Adam: My family tries to visit me while Iím over here. I normally go home over the Christmas period to do summer (winter) training so I see them twice a year. Plus I have a good setup in Czech. I have my fiancée there with her family and they play a big part of giving me my second family which makes life very easy.
WW: Why is T-mobile based in the Czech Republic when the team is German?
Adam: Team is based in Germany, I live in Czech. The riders live where they wish. We have riders living in: Germany, Italy, Spain, Czech, Belgium, Luxembourg, Austria, Monaco, to name a few.
WW: Have you had a tough time adjusting to a European way of life?
Adam: Yes and no. Living here is great, but some things are just hard to do. Sometimes I feel their culture is so strong that if you want to do something that is different their normal answer is, you canít do that, only because no one has done it in the past.
WW: Did you feel welcomed into the team by your team mates?
Adam: Very welcome.
Adam leading the pack on stage 7 of the Tour of California (Photo: William Knose)
WW: Is there someone on the team that has developed into a close friend and or training partner or that could be considered a mentor?
Adam: I look up heaps to Ciolek, he is just so relaxed and such a good rider. I would never want to be a sprinter but he has so much talent it drips out of his ears!
WW: After your first pro race are there any areaís that you feel you will definitely need to improve upon to achieve your goals?
Adam: I need to lose weight and try and focus on one thing. I just need experience and time to adjust to the racing.
WW: Is there a prankster on the team?
Adam: We have some good funny guys on the team. Eric Baumann is a guy that always jokes around and always has a smile on his face. He plays a very important part to the team off the bike.
WW: What aspirations do you have now that you have reached the big stage?
Adam: Just to keep improving to the best I can.
WW: What is in a typical day of a pro cyclist?
Adam: If your not cycling, your eating, if your not eating then your sleeping. Its full on! Im lucky as my hobby is internet, which I can do in my rest time. I had to kiss goodbye all my other active hobbies once I started cycling.
WW: Do you have any personal bikes and what are they?
Adam: Iím building up a show bike at the moment. Itís a giant ISP. Iíve just finished sanding the full frame and fork and its on the way to the airbrush guy for a full custom paint job. Itís going to be one great ride! You will see it soon on the WWs and my site.
WW: Do you have any dream bikes or parts that you could share with us?
Adam: Not really. To me the thing I want most is the SRM unit. Thatís the most important thing. A solid bike is important after that. Iím very happy with my Giant Team bike. Thatís why I got another one to turn into a show bike. I think itís the best looking frame out there.
WW: Any childhood heroes or cyclists you admire?
Adam: I never rode a bit as a child. I started cycling at about 20 years. So I never had any real big heroís.
WW: So how does life compare now that you are on a pro cycling team to being behind a desk?
Adam: I was a bit of a workaholic and I loved it. The pressure was huge with some project deadlines I had. So in some ways it is the same. In others I travel heaps now and interact with way more people, which is sometimes nice.
WW: What were the biggest differences you noticed in riding with amateurs to riding with professionals?
Adam: The support. It plays a huge difference in your performance. We really get looked after in T-Mobile and traveling is much easier. I think thatís the biggest difference
WW: Did changes to your bike set up from testing make big changes or just small ones from the position you had adapted to?
Adam: On the track with the SRM it did make a huge difference in the amount of power you save, but I still need a lot of work with this. I must admit I had a new position for the Tour of California TT but I had my worst TT everÖÖÖ.. So maybe itís more time I need on the bike. Itís hard to say.
WW: And finally, what does your forum name, Zakeen mean?
Adam: Aarrrrr................... Itís a name I use on all forum sites Iím a member too. It doesnít have a meaning, but something I made up.
WW: May I just take this opportunity, and I know I speak for all the members on the forum, to thank you for participating on the Weight Weenies forum, for sharing your racing experiences and giving us an insight into the world of a pro cyclist.