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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.”
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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SAN SEBASTIAN, Spain
Canadain cyclist Ryder Hesjedal finished fifth at the San Sebastian Classic one-day race on Saturday.
Hesjedal, from Victoria, finished the 337-kilometre course in five hours 30 minutes, seven seconds behind winner Carlos Barredo of Spain.
Roman Kreuziger of the Czech Republic was second, Mickael Delage of France was third and Peter Velits of Slovakia finished fourth.
Hesjedal, a member of the Garmin-Slipstream team, finished 49th overall last week at the 2009 Tour de France.