Adam Hansen will not be riding in the 2017 Vuelta a España when it starts on Saturday, August 19. It brings to an end a remarkable, record-setting 18 consecutive Grand Tours for the Australian.
Hansen has ridden in every edition of the Vuelta, Giro d’Italia and Tour de France since the 2011 Vuelta. Making the record even more impressive is the fact that he has finished every one of them. He broke Spaniard Marino Lejarreta’s record of 10 consecutive Grand Tour finishes at the 2015 Giro.
Along the way, the 36-year-old has managed to claim two stage wins – stage seven of the 2013 Giro and stage 19 of the 2014 Vuelta. Hansen’s highest overall placing was at the 2014 Vuelta, where he finished 53rd.
On Thursday, Hansen’s Lotto-Soudal team issued a short statement regarding injuries currently suffered by team members. A line at the end read: “Adam Hansen suffered from saddle sore in the last Tour week. The Aussie is taking some rest while the injury is healing.”
It’s not the first time that Hansen has continued riding in a Grand Tour despite a painful injury – in the 2013 Giro, he famously finished the race with a fractured sternum.
For many fans, Hansen is the epitome of the hard-working pro cyclist. Rarely taking the glory, but suffering and working for his team-mates. He is often seen in escape groups – and fighting through appalling weather to finish mountain stages in the grupetto. His popularity is also helped with his interaction with fans, including his traditional beer on Alpe d’Huez.
Although the Belgian Lotto-Soudal team has yet to announce its roster for the 2017 Vuelta, but Hansen is absent from the long-list released by the race organiser.
After a disappointing Tour de France, where the squad failed to take a stage win, they will be aiming to make an impression at the Vuelta.
From Hansen’s Twitter feed it appears as though he won’t be sat around doing nothing for the next month. The qualified engineer is continuing to refine the design of his home-made, super-light carbon-fibre shoes.
Whatever happens next for Hansen, it will take many years before anyone gets close to beating his Grand Tour record run.
The 2017 Vuelta a España takes place from Saturday, August 19, to Sunday, September 10.