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Adam Hansen left out of Lotto Soudal's Vuelta team

Australian set to miss two Grand Tours in a row after riding a record 20 in a row

Joe Robinson
15 Aug 2018

Having notched up a record 20th consecutive Grand Tour finish at the Giro d'Italia in May, Adam Hansen now looks set to miss two in a row after being left out of Lotto Soudal's squad for the Vuelta a Espana, which begins later this month.

Hansen's record streak came to an end when he wasn't included in the Lotto Soudal lineup for the Tour de France team in July. And now the Australian has also been left out of the team for the Vuelta, meaning he'll miss his first Spanish Grand Tour since 2010.

While riding the Giro earlier this season, Hansen confirmed he would miss the Tour in order to give himself a break from Grand Tour riding and to refocus on new goals in the autumn. This saw him end his run of 20 consecutive Grand Tours which started at the Vuelta back in 2011. 

In confirming that he would be absent in July, the veteran Australian told Cyclist that he would put his hand up for the Vuelta for sure'. However, it looks as if the Belgian WorldTour team has declined to take Hansen up on the offer.

In general, Lotto Soudal has gone with a lineup based around hunting for individual stage victories rather than a General Classification goal.

Team sports director Mario Aerts failed to mention the omission of Hansen in their Vuelta line-up, deciding to focus on the combined stage victory threat instead.

'We’ll have to wait until the official start list has been confirmed: if there will be many fast men at the start line, the breakaway won’t get many chances to stay clear and it will probably be better not to attack,' explained Aerts.

'We’ll take it one day at a time. Either way, all eight of our riders will get the chance to animate the stages and hopefully we can take one or a couple of stage wins back home.'

Serial breakaway artist Thomas De Gendt will represent an option for victories throughout the race, and will be looking to add to his Vuelta stage win at last year's race, while Sander Armee and Tomasz Marczynski will also hope to replicate their stage victories from 2017. 

The team will also include Classics specialist Tiesj Benoot. The Belgian will head to his first Vuelta having abandoned the Tour de France on Stage 5 due to a heavy crash. The Strade-Bianche champion will enter the race with no expectations but rather an opportunity to test his form.

Tosh Van der Sande will look to be competitive in the sprint stages alongside Jelle Wallays while Maxime Monfort and the young Bjorg Lambrecht offer options in the mountains.

Lotto-Soudal's Vuelta line-up also sees team stalwarts Andre Greipel and Marcel Sieberg absent from their final Grand Tour with the team before departing for Fortuneo-Samsic and Bahrain-Merida respectively in 2019.

Lotto Soudal Vuelta a Espana 2018 team:

Sander Armee (BEL)
Tiesj Benoot (BEL)
Thomas De Gendt (BEL)
Bjorg Lambrecht (BEL)
Tomasz Marcyznski (POL)
Maxime Monfort (BEL)
Tosh Van der Sande (BEL)
Jelle Wallays (BEL)

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