Congrats to Ryder!
BY CLEVE DHEENSAW, VICTORIA TIMES COLONIST
VICTORIA — The 2000s began for Ryder Hesjedal on the mountain bike, continued on the road and conclude with the Victoria rider being named Canadian cyclist of the decade.
The quietly intense Hesjedal, 2003 world mountain biking silver medallist who in 2008 and 2009 became the fourth Canadian to ride in the Tour de France, was given the honour in balloting by Canadian fans conducted on CanadianCyclist.com.
Hesjedal received 31.4 per cent of the vote, in the results released Monday. Runner-up was Marie-Helene Premont of Quebec City, 2004 Athens Summer Olympics mountain-biking women’s silver medallist, with 16.6 per cent of the vote. Roland Green of Victoria, two-time world men’s mountain biking champion and 2002 Commonwealth Games gold medallist, was third with 14.6 per cent.
“It’s a recognition of ten years worth of hard work and a big honour,” said Hesjedal, in a phone interview from a training camp in Maui.
“I’m 29 and feel I have several good years left ahead of me. Maybe I can get the award for the next decade, too.”
Over the summer, the two-time Olympian became the first Canadian to win a stage in the Tour of Spain, which with the Tour de France and Giro d’Italia comprise the Grand Tour of pro cycling. It was the first Grand Tour stage victory for a Canadian since Steve Bauer of Fenwick, Ont., in the 1988 Tour de France.
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