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Just days ago, it looked like Adam Hansen’s record streak of grand tour finishes was over. But in an unexpected twist of fate, his teammate Rafael Valls crashed and injured himself while training. Now, Lotto-Soudal has Hansen on its roster to start his 19th consecutive grand tour at the Vuelta a España.
On Monday, a team press statement announced that Valls had crashed and fractured his hip. The Spaniard will require surgery and is out for the rest of the 2017 season.
Hansen, 36, had written off his chances of starting the Vuelta due to a saddle sore that hampered him during the Tour de France.
Hansen’s streak is the longest in cycling history. In addition to supporting team sprinter André Greipel, the Aussie has had a few chances to chase his own results. 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.
The 2017 Vuelta starts August 19 in Nîmes, France and finishes September 10 in Madrid.