Pro cyclists are very experienced travellers, but Lotto-Soudal‘s Adam Hansen had something of a nightmare as he tried to travel to a training camp in the United Arab Emirates from his home in the Czech Republic.
Hansen holds two passports – an Australian one and an Italian one – and had sent the Italian one off to the Chinese Embassy in Milan to get a visa for the upcoming Tour of Guangxi.
That left him with just his Australian passport to get him to a training camp in the UAE, which unfortunately did not contain a stamp to show when he had entered Europe.
Writing for Velon, Hansen described the exchange: “I said – ‘I entered on my Italian passport,’ and they said – ‘Well where is it?’ I said – ‘It’s in Milan at the Chinese embassy.’
“They said: ‘Well you’ve overstayed in Europe, so you get deported directly to Australia.’ They took me out the back and I was interviewed. They wanted to give me a €3,000 fine on top of deporting me.
Thankfully Hansen managed to avoid being deported, convincing officials that a quick internet search would confirm who he was.
“It was a bit stressful,” he continued. “I didn’t like to use the line, but I said: ‘Google me, you’ll see I’m a cyclist and I’m going to race in China.’ They Googled me and let me go.”
Hansen completed his training camp in the UAE at the start of October, and is now back training in the Czech Republic before travelling out to the Tour of Guangxi, the final WorldTour race of the season, which starts on October 19.