Hansen completes Vuelta a Espana to maintain Grand Tour record

Adam Hansen (Lotto-Soudal) continued to build up his personal record of completed Grand Tours with another finish in the Vuelta a España – his sixth – which takes his total of consecutive Grand Tour finishes to 16.

Hansen started his series of Grand Tours in the 2011 Vuelta and since then he has completed every Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta, and taken two stage wins, one in the Giro in 2013 and another in the Vuelta in 2014.

In completing the 2015 Vuelta, the 35-year-old already became the rider who has completed the most consecutive Grand Tours in cycling history – 13, one more than Spain's Bernardo Ruiz, who finished twelve in a row in the 1950s. Hansen now has raced and finished the last sixteen Grand Tours.

"I'm tired, this one's been a tough Vuelta," Hansen told Cyclingnews after completing the final stage to Madrid. "But it's always nice to finish here in Madrid, to come to the same city where it all started back in 2011 when I finished the Vuelta and got here in one piece.

"It's a shame our team didn't have much success in the Vuelta, but we had lots of top ten places and made it into lots of different breaks. We kept fighting. As for me, I'm ready to go home, though."

In 2017, although the Giro, Tour and Vuelta are on his target list, Hansen may make some alterations. "I may change my program though, because I always do the three Grand Tours and I like them, but I also do the very first and very last races of the season as well. So I'd like to try to have a longer off-season, that's my first goal, then go into the rest of the season with the three Grand Tours in mind."

It's almost a tradition now that Hansen never gives himself some kind of special treat for completing the three Grand Tours, and this year is no different. As he puts it: "I just want to go home, sit on my own couch, eat my own food – and throw my suitcase away."

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Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.