The Belgian team’s sports manager Marc Sergeant said that a saddle sore that Hansen developed during the final week of the Tour de France in July put paid to his preparation and participation in the Vuelta.
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“Adam was suffering from saddle sore at the Tour,” said Sergeant. “There are less than four weeks between the end of the Tour and the start of the Vuelta.
“After less than two weeks the injury is healing, but has not disappeared, so the staff fears the injury might play up again during the Vuelta.
“At the moment Adam hasn’t resumed training yet, so that means the preparation would be really short too. With the sporting goals in mind too, the staff decided not to select him.
“It’s true that Adam has set a fantastic record, but we knew that would come to an end sooner or later.”
Hansen started his record-breaking run of Grand Tour participations at the 2011 Vuelta a España during the first year that he rode with the team, then known as Omega Pharma-Lotto. He has ridden and finished every Vuelta, Tour de France and Giro d’Italia since – 18 in all.
Lotto-Soudal have built a Vuelta team with opportunistic stage victories in mind, and we can expect to see their riders in escape groups – particularly Thomas De Gendt, who spent over 1,200km in escape groups in the Tour.
Along with De Gendt, Lotto-Soudal have selected Sander Armée, Bart De Clercq, Jens Debusschere, Tomasz Marczynski, Rémy Mertz, Maxime Monfort, Rafael Valls and Jelle Wallays.
The 2017 Vuelta a España starts in Nîmes, France, with a team time trial on Saturday, August 19, and ends in Madrid three weeks later on Sunday, September 10.