Australian overwhelmed by fans' support

Having, eventually, been selected for his 19th consecutive Grand Tour, Adam Hansen has thanked fans for their support and making him feel that his achievement was “something special and unique”.

The Australian rider initially missed out on a spot on Lotto-Soudal’s team for the Vuelta a España, but has now been given a ride after team-mate Rafael Valls fractured his hip in a crash.

>>> Vuelta a España 2017 start list

Having ridden every Grand Tour since the 2011 Vuelta a España, Hansen wrote on Twitter than he had been “overwhelmed” with the support he had received on social media.

“I’ve had a bigger reaction towards this than each of my Grand Tour stage wins,” Hansen wrote. “After reading what you’ve all been saying it really shows that in cycling it’s about more than who is first across the line.

“Sure there are 21 winners in every Grand Tour but you fans have shown me that there is only one guy that turns up every single time regardless, year after year, and that made me feel it’s something special and unique.”

>>> Vuelta a España route 2017: key climbs and what to expect

Hansen also said that he had considered stopping with his run of consecutive Grand Tours considering the toll it had taken on his body, but that he would be continuing to keep “this good thing going” and that he was enjoying “pushing the limits to the max”.