Adam Hansen has extended his contract with Lotto Soudal, according to Het Nieuwsblad. The Belgian newspaper reports that the penning of the new deal was the final act of outgoing manager Paul De Geyter, who left the team earlier this month after less than a year in the role.
With Hansen, who is currently racing at the Tour of Guangxi in China, Lotto Soudal have completed their roster for 2019 with 28 riders. The Australian also provides an element of stability in a team that has seen a lot of changes over the season.
After three seasons with HTC-Colombia, Hansen joined the team – then known as Omega Pharma-Lotto – for the 2011 season. Since then, he has become a key part of the train in front of the team’s main sprinter Andre Greipel.
Next season, Hansen will find himself in a very different sprint train, with Greipel, Marcel Sieberg and Lars Bak all leaving, along with Jens Debusschere, Moreno Hofland and 22-year-old Briton James Shaw. The Australian will now be working for his compatriot Caleb Ewan with the help of another new signing in Adam Blythe.
As well as his role in the lead-out train, Hansen became known for his record-breaking run in the Grand Tours. Beginning with the Vuelta a España in 2011, Hansen rode and completed 20 consecutive Grand Tours. He has ridden 27 Grand Tours during his career and only abandoned three.
Hansen’s run almost came to an end at last year’s Vuelta but a late call-up saw it continue. However, he chose to call it quits after this year’s Giro d’Italia and try his hand at a few other races.
Over his career, Hansen has won two Grand Tour stages from a breakaway – at the 2013 Giro d’Italia and the 2014 Vuelta a España. He is also a former national time trial title and won the 2010 Ster Elektrotoer, but the win at the Vuelta was the last time he tasted victory.