The injury-related limitations are a problem for the Australian Lotto Soudal rider who will face a cobbled stage tomorrow and is competing in aid of prolific sprinter and current green jersey holder, Andre Greipel.
“I’ve got this or can go home to nothing so I will just try and see how it goes,” he said before stage three on Monday.
Hansen dislocated his shoulder in a fall during the weather affected second stage from Utrecht, The Netherlands on Sunday and was visibly in pain as he limbered back to his bike to finish the stage.
The 34-year-old was later taken to hospital where, he said, the second degree dislocation on the AC joint was confirmed.
“In the X-rays you can see the difference, how high the collarbone is. They’ve taped it down as much as possible and wished me luck,” said Hansen.
“The doctor said it was best for me not to start. He said the pain is going to get worse the next two or three days and then it should get better after that.”
Hansen has been granted some respite from his responsibilities in the Lotto Soudal lead-out train prior the next sprint stage that Greipel, who won the opening road stage to Zelande, will vie for.
“They said I can have a few days easy, they don’t expect much from me, which is good, and I said I can’t take bottles because I can’t raise my arm very well,” he said. “They’ve been very supportive. Hopefully I can swap jobs and do the earlier part of the work in the sprint days so I can be useful.”
The Tour doubles as Hansen’s 12th consecutive three-week race, a record that is outlined on a graphic affixed to his stem.
“36 weeks = 252 days = 6048 hours away from home,” it reads.
He might be counting the minutes at the 102nd edition of the Tour in his current state.
“I don’t know if it’s a motivational thing but it’s just a reminder to keep going,” he said.
Meanwhile, Greipel’s chief pilot, Kiwi Greg Henderson, suffered lacerations from a huge crash during the third stage, which saw the race director stop the peloton from riding while emergency vehicles attended to riders.