Australian has been ever present in Grand Tours for the past seven years

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Lotto-Soudal domestique and Grand Tour stalwart Adam Hansen has described how a large sore almost brought an end to his growing legend of consecutive Grand Tours, which now stands at 18 after this year’s Tour de France.

Speaking to the Sydney Morning Herald before stage 20 Hansen was candid in his description of the sore. “It’s not as big as a tennis ball but as big as a golf ball … It puts my other two things to shame,” the Australian joked.

The antipodean has come to be known for his growing Grand Tour record but that could’ve all come to an end on stage 19 when he suffered.

“It was really tough for me. I just couldn’t sit in the right position.

“You pedal and sit on your thigh. You pedal and you ride on your other thigh. It’s not very nice,” he explained after riding 222.5km in support of Andre Greipel. The German had an eye for winning that stage but came up short as Edvald Boasson Hagen won with a late break.

Hansen’s dedication to the team is paramount though as the domestique described his relationship to his sprinter colleague.

“I have been on every single team with [André Greipel] since 2011, so we are almost family. I want to be there for him

“I want to try to do everything I can.”

Unfortunately, the team came away from the Tour de France empty handed with Greipel not recording a single stage victory. There was also controversy after the team’s breakaway expert Thomas De Gendt failed to win the Super Combatif award despite spending 1280km in breakaways in the race.

With the Vuelta a Espana less than four weeks away Adam Hansen is expected to recover and be ready to continue onto a 19th consecutive Grand Tour.