Vuelta a Espana: Adam Hansen aiming to complete seventh consecutive Grand Tour
Last Updated: August 20, 2013 12:45pm
Adam Hansen won a stage of this year's Giro d'Italia, his fifth consecutive Grand Tour
Australia's Adam Hansen has described the prospect of completing seven Grand Tours in a row as "pretty incredible".
The 32-year-old has been named in the nine-man Lotto-Belisol squad for the Vuelta a Espana, which starts in Vilanova de Arousa on Saturday and is set to be one of the hardest three-week races in recent memory.
Should he make it to the final stage in Madrid on September 15, he will have finished all three of cycling's Grand Tours - the Giro d'Italia, Tour de France and Vuelta - in the same season for the second consecutive year and seven Grand Tours in succession.
Hansen will still be three adrift of the mark of ten in a row set by Spain's Marino Lejarreta between 1988 and 1991, but he insisted the achievement was a source of pride and he has no intention of ending the run.
"I think it is nice that, if all goes well, I will have completed seven Grand Tours in a row," he said. "It is pretty incredible when you think about it and it does make me proud.
"I would like to see how many I can do. I'm very happy Lotto-Belisol enable me to have this kind of race programme.
"When I completed the first Grand Tour, I started thinking it would be nice to do them all in one year. When the opportunity came last year, after I had completed both the Giro and Tour, I asked if I could do the Vuelta and some of the sports directors laughed at me and thought I was joking. But if I have the chance, I would like to continue to do this."
"The Vuelta is getting harder every year, but I enjoy the hard racing so in that way it suits me well."
The Vuelta is set to be the hardest of this year's Grand Tours, with a brutally mountainous route containing no fewer than 11 summit finishes.
Despite its difficulty and having had only a month's rest since the end of the Tour, Hansen is feeling confident going into the race and even harbours hopes of repeating the breakaway victory he claimed on stage seven of the Giro in May.
"The Vuelta is getting harder every year, but I enjoy the hard racing so in that way it suits me well," he said.
"I think it was more of a challenge last year [to complete all three Grand Tours], as it was the first time. This year I'm a lot more relaxed. I am very confident that I will do well and I'm really satisfied with my training and the rest period I have had so far.
"I would very much like to win a stage in the Vuelta. I'm definitely going to have a go for it, that is for sure. Hopefully I'm in a breakaway that makes it to the finish, so I can have a chance. In any case my condition is really good."