• Adam Hansen has completed his 12th consecutive grand tour (Sirotti)Source: Sirotti
Lotto-Soudal's Adam Hansen has been key to the confidence that saw German sprinter Andre Greipel cap off his most successful Tour de France campaign to date.
Sophie Smith

27 Jul 2015 - 7:32 AM  UPDATED 27 Jul 2015 - 9:09 AM

Hansen was part of the reduced Lotto-Soudal outfit that assisted Greipel to his unparalleled fourth stage victory of the race today, where the German finally conquered the famed Champs-Élysées ahead of Bryan Coquard (Europcar) and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha).

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“It was icing on the cake,” said a visibly cold Hansen after a rain-soaked stage from Sevres to Paris.

“Four stages, he won in Paris, which is what he always wanted. We say Paris is like a classics stage - that’s the value of it.

“We started a bit too early but we wanted to give him confidence and he needs that, he needs a little bit of confidence.

“I think he had a different programme and he got the first win here at the Tour. Once he tastes it he doesn’t stop.”

Greipel also had a stint in the green jersey, which he started after a busy early season that included the spring classics, where he was a visible and powerful workhorse for his team-mates.

Hansen personally won a race of his own, completing a record 12th consecutive grand tour despite being advised to stop racing after he dislocated his shoulder in a crash during the second stage, with cobbles looming on Stage 3. 

The Australian's shoulder was still taped as he stood outside the Lotto-Soudal bus parked off the Champs-Élysées, surrounded by a bustling crowd of fans and family, including his mother.

“Because of injury it was a struggle, and my mindset was off at the start so it took me a week to get my head back together,” Hansen said.

“I think everyone got tired and I stayed at the same level, then I became more positive.”

Despite that, Hansen still had problems on the uneven surface of the Champs-Élysées.

“It got better but then it started to get worse because I was using it more. I have tape holding the collarbone down and when the collarbone is in place it is okay but when it’s raised it pinches a nerve and it kills me.”

Like most teams, Lotto-Soudal suffered casualties in an especially tough and hot Tour.

Greipel’s chief pilot, Greg Henderson, was forced to abandon earlier through injury but was on site today to celebrate his team-mate’s career-defining campaign.

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