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It’s been said time and time again, Adam Hansen is a man of many talents. Outside of racing, his interests include computer programming and tinkering with carbon to produce custom cycling shoes.
Above all, of course, is his day job, as a professional athlete. As this podcast post published, he was four days into the Vuelta a España, his 19th consecutive Grand Tour — a total of 381 days of racing, surviving, and continuing to see another stage, dating back to the 2011 Vuelta.
But the record streak nearly ended last week. On August 4, Lotto-Soudal, the Belgian team Hansen has been part of since 2007, announced that he wouldn’t be starting this year’s Vuelta. Hansen was recovering from a saddle sore, and the team wanted to field other riders, allowing them the experience to take on one of the sport’s three Grand Tours. Though disappointed, it was an understandable decision from the team; Hansen always knew his run of Grand Tour starts (and finishes) would have to end at some point.
But pro cycling is an unpredictable beast, and the bad side of lady luck struck Hansen’s teammate Rafael Valls, who was ready to line up for the Vuelta. A broken hip for Valls, as well as injuries for several other riders, saw Hansen drafted in just three days after the team had announced its roster; Hansen was back in the running, and his Grand Tour streak would continue.
In this podcast, reporter Dave Everett chats with Hansen, cover the shock of hearing that he would not be participating in the Vuelta, followed by the shock that he would be. Hansen discusses how he reacted to the social media storm that surrounded both decisions, why he loves Grand Tours, and how he intends to finally end his near unbeatable record.