Adam Hansen will continue his record-breaking run of Grand Tours, replacing Lotto-Soudal team mate Rafael Valls at the Vuelta a España.
The 36-year-old has been drafted in following a crash which saw Valls break his hip, calling an early end to his season.
The team reported last week that Hansen was suffering from a saddle sore, picked up in the last week of the Tour de France. He was not due to start the Spanish tour, marking the end of his run of 18 consecutive tours.
However, Lotto-Soudal are hopeful that he will be able to recover to support the team at the race, which begins on Saturday, August 19.
In a press release, they said: “The Australian had initially not been selected, but this late change will allow him to go on with his record-breaking run of Grand Tour participations.
“The sports directors and medical staff hope that his saddle sore will be sufficiently healed, but there is no doubt that Hansen will start his 19th Grand Tour in a row with determination.”
The team has suffered a few setbacks, reporting: “Rafael Valls, as well as Jürgen Roelandts and Frederik Frison, will no longer race this season and Louis Vervaeke is still recovering from over-fatigue. The number of riders available for the last part of the season has therefore decreased significantly.”
They failed to take a stage win at the Tour de France, and will be hoping for a more successful appearance at the Vuelta.
Australian rider Hansen has ridden every consecutive Grand Tour since the 2011 Vuelta – finishing every one and breaking Spanish rider Marino Lejarreta’s record of 10 consecutive Grand Tour finishes at the 2015 Giro. Now on number 19, it seems he may well double Lejarreta’s total.
Hansen has picked up two stage wins along the way – winning stage seven of the 2013 Giro and stage 19 of the 2014 Vuelta. His highest placing overall was 53rd at the 2014 Vuelta.
This year’s Vuelta opens with a 13.7km team time trial, in Nîmes (France), with a further two stages in France before heading to Spain on Tuesday, August 22.