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Hansen’s historic grand tour streak to end at 18

Adam Hansen’s grand tour streak will end at 18.

The durable Lotto-Soudal rider told Australia’s RIDE magazine he has not been selected for the team’s nine-man lineup for the Vuelta a España later this month.

“Unfortunately, I have not been selected for this year’s Vuelta,” Hansen told RIDE. “It’s not the way I wanted it to end, but this it the team’s choice, and it’s not in my control. I have to respect what they say.”

The 36-year-old began his historic streak at the 2011 Vuelta, and has started and finished every grand tour since. The 2017 Tour was his 18th in a row.

A debilitating saddle sore that came on during last month’s Tour is a contributing factor.

Team officials confirmed the news when it revealed its Vuelta lineup Thursday.

“With sporting goals in mind, too, the staff decided not to select him,” team manager Marc Sargeant said. “It’s true that Adam set a fantastic record, but we knew that it would come to an end sooner or later.”

Instead, the team will bring a mixed squad with stage-hunters and attackers, anchored by Rafael Walls, Jens Debusschere, Maxime Monfort, and Thomas De Gendt. Sprinter André Greipel is not starting, either.

Hansen’s streak is the longest in cycling history. He was a loyal worker to Greipel when the German sprinter was in the race, and Hansen would take a few chances as well. He won stage 7 at the 2013 Giro and stage 19 at the 2014 Vuelta.

In 2015, Hansen eclipsed the previous mark set by Spanish GC rider Marino Lejarreta. In an interview with VeloNews at the time, Lejarreta said his own streak was more impressive because he was fighting for the overall classification in at least two of three grand tours he raced each year. He also pointed out that his streak came when the Vuelta was held in April, meaning he would race the Vuelta, Giro, and Tour within a four-month period.

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