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For Adam Hansen, being a professional athlete was always just one part of life. During his 14-year cycling career, the Australian developed an impressive list of side projects, making him an easy contender for the most interesting person in the peloton.
“I always had this mentality that sport was number two, and always have some other type of work or backup plan,” he said, noting that a professional career can end at any time due to injury or other factors outside of your control. So while most riders toss away the ample free time between training and racing on Twitter or watching TV, he would instead learn new skills and engineer products like custom cycling shoes.
These days at age 40, after retiring from pro cycling last year, he stays just as busy. Besides racing triathlons, he’s continuing to create his own products including a triathlon bike that diverges heavily from traditional designs, invest in property, and act as a board member of the CPA (Cyclistes Professionnels Associés) representing Australian riders.
His cycling career was nothing short of impressive either. He holds the record for most grand tours completed consecutively — a staggering 20 — picking up a couple of stage wins in the process. He discusses with Bobby & Jens co-hosts Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt what motivated him to do so many — 29 total in his career — when one a season is already hard to do. For those keeping score at home, that’s well over a year-and-a-half of his life spent in grand tours.
Adam also discusses some of the downsides to a career in cycling. “You have this false sensation that this is what the real world is like,” he says of being a pro cyclist, where everything is taken care of for you. As part of his work with the CPA, he’s trying to help riders better manage their money and prepare for life after cycling.
Listen to the latest episode of Bobby & Jens for the full conversation.
“Bobby & Jens” is a weekly VeloNews podcast brought to you by Zwift. It stars former pros Bobby Julich and Jens Voigt and features conversations with top athletes, coaches, emerging stars, and other newsmakers from the wide world of cycling. A new episode drops every Friday. Subscribe now wherever you get your podcasts.