Ryder Hesjedal now sits in 70th place after the grueling 9th stage up the Col du Tourmalet. He had an excellent ride today, staying with the big boys in the peleton and finishing only 34″ behind the stage winner.
From his most recent blog post, I found out what dropped him from the relatively high placement in the 20’s he was enjoying as he headed into Barelona:
Yesterday was another hard day for me. I crashed again and went down on the same side as the day before. Luckily nothing was broken or too sore so I was able to keep going, but I was behind another crash near the end. I ended up losing contact with the leaders. Having your body hit the pavement is never a good thing but the hardest part of the day, yet again, were the conditions. The rain was a huge factor, causing multiple crashes, splits and general chaos in the bunch.
The day had started out so well. In case you don’t know, Garmin-Slipstream’s base is in Girona, Spain, exactly where the stage started. So many of the roads we raced on we use in our training rides. There were so many friendly and familiar faces at the start of the stage and the occasion was really special. You see so many starts and finishes during the year that they tend to blur into one but this one was special. I’ve lived in Girona since 2004 and my folks were over here to watch the stage. It all added up to a fantastic atmosphere.
Lance Armstrong on Stage 6:
“There are not many days when I have regretted my decision,” he said. “But maybe that was one of them.
“Maybe I’m being facetious, but it wasn’t a lot of fun. There were dangerous downhills and some crashes. The only way to describe days like today is scary.”
Looks like Ryder Hesjedal got involved in a couple of mishaps today, dropping from 21st overall to 25th. I hope he’s ready and fit for the first mountain stage tomorrow …
The Tour’s early entrance into the mountains will be sudden, with a Level 1 mountain pass and one of the highest finishes in its history, at 2,200m elevation. And yet this will not be the time for great manœuvres. The fact that difficulties will be spread out throughout the race, as well as the length of the first Pyrenees stage, should enable a bold, sturdy climber who breaks away from the pack early to seize his chance at Arcalis.