Adam Hansen finished the Tour de France on Sunday, making it to the end of his record 18th consecutive Grand Tour. However he almost didn't make it to the finish this year due to injury, the Lotto-Soudal rider admitted.
He was hampered by a saddle sore, which he did not have lanced due to fear of infection. "It's not as big as a tennis ball but as big as a golf ball," he told smh.com.au. "It's not very good but I am surviving. I've had a good run with grand tours, never really had a major problem and now … I don't know why this … I just have to deal with it."
The 225km stage on Friday nearly did him in. "It was really tough for me. I just couldn't sit in the right position. You pedal and sit on your thigh. You pedal and you ride on your other thigh. It's not very nice."
He did not abandon, however, and even conquered the cobblestones on Saturday's time trial. He rode out of the saddle for much of that stage.
The 36-year-old Australian is next expected to be on the start line of the Vuelta a Espana in Nimes, France, on August 19.