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Van Koeverden overcomes jet lag to advance in Nationals

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REGINA — Adam Van Koeverden of Oakville, Ont., advanced to the K-1 500 and 200-metre finals at the Sprint Nationals canoe and kayak championships Thursday.

In his K-1 500 heat, Van Koeverden clocked one minute 43.448 seconds to finish ahead of world championship teammate Angus Mortimer of Ottawa (1:43.448).

Van Koeverden won bronze in the event at the world championship in Poland on Saturday.

In his K-1 200 heat, Van Koeverden took top spot ahead of Hughes Fournel of Lachine, Que.  Ryan Cochrane of Windsor, N.S., and Andrew Willows of Carleton Place, Ont., were the victors in the other two heats.  “My goal this week is to race well and do my club proud,” said Van Koeverden, competing at his 14th Canadian championship for the Burloak Club. “I want to win the races I traditionally win.”

Van Koeverden didn’t use jet lag from his recent arrival from overseas as an excuse for performances this week.

“I try not to think about it too much,” he said. “There is no trick to getting over jet lag. I just try to manage my time and be as prepared as best as I can when I’m travelling. I’ve done this enough times in my career.”

In the C-1 500 heats, Olympic bronze medallist Thomas Hall of Pointe-Claire, Que., was first in the opening heat with Andrew Russell of Dartmouth, N.S., second while in the second race Richard Dalton of Halifax finished ahead of Mark Oldershaw of Oakville and Ben Russell of Dartmouth.  Emilie Fournel of Lachine, Que., took a women’s K-1 1,000 heat ahead of Una Lounder of Dartmouth and Kathleen Fraser of Mississauga, Ont.

Read entire article here.

Hesjedal 7th in the Tour de France

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How good does that sound?  Congratulations Ryder.

Ryder Hesjedal of Victoria will roll down the historic Champs-Élysées in Paris today as the breakout performer of the 2010 Tour de France.

He’ll also be the Island’s biggest sporting landmark performer since basketball player Steve Nash and triathlete Simon Whitfield.

The Belmont Secondary graduate is assured of delivering the best result by a Canadian in the Tour de France since Steve Bauer of Fenwick, Ont., finished fourth in 1988.

Hesjedal will enter the 20th and final stage of the Tour in seventh place overall after yesterday’s 52-kilometre individual time trial from Bordeaux to Pauillac saw him move up from eighth. That will be his final placing as today’s last stage, a 102.5-kilometre flat ride into Paris from Longjumeau, is largely ceremonial.

“To be talked about in the same company as Steve Nash and Simon is pretty humbling,” said Hesjedal from France. “Seven is a pretty cool number, especially when it comes to [overall placing in] the Tour de France.” Hesjedal described the support on the road as “unreal,” saying he saw several Canadian flags waving, keeping him focused after three weeks of hard racing.

Read more: http://www.timescolonist.com/sports/Victoria+Ryder+Hesjedal+Magnifique/3320453/story.html#ixzz0uoLxRkME

Ryder exceeds all expectations on the Tourmalet

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Ryder on the way to an inspiring 4th place stage 17 finish, only 1:27 behind Andy Schleck, the stage winner.  Hesjedal now sits 8th in the GC, the best showing by a Canadian since Steve Bauer’s 4th in 1988.

Ryder Hesjedal climbing toward top 10

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After making the selection with the yellow jersey group over the top of the hors categorie Port de Pailhères climb, Ryder Hesjedal settled into his own tempo on the final climb up to the finish at Ax 3 Domaines. In doing so, he finished ahead of four big names ahead of him on GC — Liquigas’ Ivan Basso and Roman Kreuziger, Astana’s Alexander Vinokourov and Caisse d’Eparnge’s Luis Leon Sanchez.

Hesjedal finished 12th on the day, just behind RadioShack’s Levi Leipheimer.

Was he pleased with his result? “Big time.”

“I was ahead of a lot of guys I wanted to be ahead of. Mission accomplished,” he said after the finish. “Especially after what I did on stage 12, even stage 3. I don’t know how many guys are going to be ahead of me on GC that have been going in all-day breakaways. I’m still feeling good, and we’ll just keep it going.”

Hesjedal got into a long-range move on stage 12 with 17 other riders, and made the final selection with Vinokourov and RadioShack’s Andreas Klöden that was only swept up in the final kilometers of the climb to the finish in Mende. On stage 3, Hesjedal attacked solo out of a breakaway on the cobbles. He was caught by the rest of the breakway, though, and finished fourth.

“I’m really happy today. I was a bit scared after the last two stages. Yesterday was hard; it just never stopped. It was singlefile all day. I could feel my legs after that, and I was a bit nervous for today,” he said. “But after we started climbing, I settled in, and I was comfortable as could be. And I showed that on the last climb.”

Read whole article here.

Ryder Hesjedal, sixth overall, still riding high at the Tour de France

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Ryder crossing the finish line at Morzine-Avoriaz, recording his best-ever mountain stage.

By John Wilcockson • Published: Jul 11th 2010 3:50 PM EDT

After finishing stage 8 Sunday atop the difficult climb to Avoriaz, Ryder Hesjedal was pleased with his performance, placing 14th on the day and slotting into sixth place overall, 1:11 behind new race leader Cadel Evans, and only 10 seconds down on defending champion Alberto Contador.

It was Hesjedal’s best-ever ride on a mountain stage at the Tour, and it firmly establishes him as leader of Garmin-Transitions following the withdrawal of Christian Vande Velde with a broken collarbone last Monday.

Asked about his fight for a high GC position, Hesjedal said, “It was hard, really hard. The first big climb, the pace was really hard, and the selection was already small, but I felt pretty good. You know, once I made it up that climb I really focused on the last one.”

“I felt pretty good, but halfway up I just had to settle into my own rhythm, and I think that was good as I only lost a minute and a bit. As much as I wanted to stay with the Contador group, I knew my limits.”

Commenting on the stage, Garmin team director Matt White said, “It’s safe to say that Ryder has done some of the rides of his life here, and today was no exception.”

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White later said, “Losing Christian was obviously a negative for the team, but it provided Ryder with an opportunity to step up into a GC role — and he’s done it. I’m really proud of what he’s accomplished here already and, for now, we’ll keep taking it day by day.”

Read entire article at VeloNews.com.

‘Unknown’ Hesjedal not unknown to everyone

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Ryder has been getting a lot of attention on the International circuit for a few seasons as one of the up-and-coming riders.  With a depleted Garmin-Transitions team in this Tour de France, we may just see him accelerated into one of the lead team roles …

Canadian Ryder Hesjedal maintained his fourth-place standing overall in the 2010 Tour de France after the fourth stage Wednesday, but admitted that heady ranking is taking some getting used to.

“This is unknown territory for me,” said Hesjedal, who stayed 46 seconds behind overall leader Fabian Cancellara of Switzerland, following the 153.5 kilometre fourth stage from Cambrai to Reims.

“It’s a high placing at the moment, but in cycling, you just have to take it day by day and see how it all unfolds. There are a lot of good riders who were expecting better but who are already out (because of the barrage of crashes over the hectic opening three stages). All I know is I’m going to fight to the bitter end for three weeks.”

Read more here.

Ryder Hesjedal – Tour de France, stage 3

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Heroic ride for Hesjedal today in Stage 3 of the Tour de France. He gutted out an amazing 4th place over the dangerous Paris-Roubaix cobblestones. As if it wasn’t impressive enough that he led most of the way through the race, when he was pinned back by the chase group of Cancellera, Schleck, and Norwegian sprinting star Thor Hushovd, he didn’t crack. He hung on their tails for the final 9km and actually led out the sprint to close out the race. Truly impressive ride.