Adam Hansen blames Alpecin DS for unnecessary drama around Paris-Roubaix chicane: "I then got Mathieu's number and told him the whole story"

Adam Hansen has been chairman of the CPA riders' union since March 2023. The Australian ex-pro has been through a lot of controversial moments in the year and a bit in the function and had to make some decisions that weren't always accepted easily. One such was addition of the much-discussed chicane ahead of the Trouée de Arrenberg at Paris-Roubaix. For example the later winner Mathieu van der Poel went to complain on his X - something Hansen didn't fancy seeing.

"When we talked about it with the riders it was unanimous, so we thought: how can we slow down the race at the entrance to Arenberg?" Hansen explains to Relevo. "And that's how we came up with the idea of ​​the chicane, even though it was one of the alternatives we offered. When we showed the options to the race management, they said within a minute: 'OK, this is it.' They immediately sent us pictures of the chicane. They thought of everything themselves!"

"I first met the sports director of Alpecin-Deceuninck during the Tour of Flanders, with whom I had not spoken until then. It struck me that everyone already knew. They joked: 'You're going to make Roubaix a little longer, aren't you?' I arrived and told them that I wanted them to let the riders know how things would be. 'No problem,' the Alpecin-Deceuninck man also told me. Or so he promised."

However that never happened, Hansen explains: "Then at some point Van der Poel shared that tweet and I thought: 'shit, they didn't tell him.' I then got Mathieu's number and told him the whole story. Then the sporting director also wrote to me again, with the message that everything was very rushed. That made me angry."

In the end it all turned out well, also between Van der Poel and Hansen. "He understood," said the Australian. "He even told me that he never liked going straight into the Forest anyway. Perhaps he would have preferred one of the alternatives, but I then told him that we could do that next year. Looking back, it's a bit of a shame how it all went. Trusting the sports director, as I said, was a big mistake on my part, and I think we paid a very high price for it."

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