Hesjedal at the 2012 Giro d'Italia
December 9, 1980 |
Victoria, British Columbia, Canada
|Height||1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)|
|Weight||72 kg (160 lb)|
|Infobox last updated on
July 22, 2013
Ryder Hesjedal[pronunciation?] (born December 9, 1980) is a Canadian professional racing cyclist for Garmin-Sharp. He is a former mountain biker, and won a silver medal at the 2001 Under-23 world championship. He turned professional with Discovery Channel in 2005 after several years with the Rabobank continental team. Having previously finished a best sixth place (after the disqualification of Alberto Contador) at the 2010 Tour de France, Hesjedal won his first Grand Tour at the 2012 Giro d'Italia, the first Grand Tour win by a Canadian.
His career started out with him competing as a mountain bike cyclist. Hesjedal first met success as a two-time world champion in the mountain bike relay event in both 2001 and 2002. He won silver as an individual at the 2003 world mountain biking championships and competed at the 2004 Olympics for Canada in the mountain bike category. At those games, Hesjedal was on his way to an Olympic medal and likely a gold medal before a sharp rock cut and flattened his tire, ending that Olympic dream.
As a result of both the early success and disappointments in his career, this allowed him to make the full-time switch to road cycling. A climber and time trialist, he was selected by Discovery Channel for the 2005 Giro d'Italia and helped Paolo Savoldelli win, although failing to complete the course himself. After 2005 he joined the Swiss team Phonak. There he began to build some of his best results, finishing fourth in the 2006 Volta a Catalunya and second in the 2006 Canadian time trial championship. Later that season he rode the Vuelta a España, although he dropped out near the end to concentrate on the road world championships in Salzburg. He achieved only modest results. The end of the Phonak team led him to Health Net for 2007. For 2008 he joined Garmin-Slipstream and helped Christian Vande Velde to fourth in the Tour de France.
In 2009 Hesjedal competed in the Vuelta a España. He finished second of the mountainous tenth stage behind Simon Gerrans (Cervélo TestTeam), registering the same time as the victor. He did not miss his chance days later on stage 12 however, when he detached himself from the favorites' group on the ultimate climb of Alto de Velefique. He joined the lone escapee David García (Xacobeo-Galicia) and tried to shake him off, but García resisted. Hesjedal outsprinted his rival near the line to rake in the victory. With that feat, he became the first Canadian to have won a Vuelta stage and the first Canadian individual winner of a Grand Tour stage since Steve Bauer in the 1988 Tour de France. However, he abandoned later and did not take the start of the eighteenth stage. Hesjedal was the only Canadian to compete in the Tour de France for both 2008 and 2009. He was also the first Canadian to ride in the daunting race in more than 10 years.
At the end of the 2009 year Hesjedal was selected as Canadian cyclist of the decade and male Canadian cyclist of the year. The honour was given to him from Canadian Cyclist and the results came from an online poll. He was also named male international cyclist of the year of 2009 from Cycling BC.
In March, Hesjedal grabbed a good result at the Strade Bianche, an Italian race which is run in part on dirt roads. He finished fifth, 19 seconds in arrears of the victor, Maxim Iglinskiy of Astana and said that he was happy with his performance. April came and Hesjedal took a prestigious podium placing in the Ardennes Classic Amstel Gold Race, which ran through the Belgian hills for 257 kilometres (160 mi). In the final kilometer, he attempted to follow the sizzling acceleration produced by Philippe Gilbert on the steep Cauberg, but had to settle for second place, 2 seconds behind the Belgian.
Hesjedal rode the Tour of California and finished fifth overall, grabbing a victory on the eight stage in the process. He out-sprinted his breakaway companions Chris Horner (Team RadioShack), George Hincapie (BMC Racing Team) and Carlos Barredo (Quick Step). With that operation he helped secure the overall win of Michael Rogers since Hesjedal appropriated the 10 seconds bonus awarded to stage winners, making sure none of Rogers' rivals could claim it since Rogers had a very narrow lead in the general classification.
During the Tour de France, Hesjedal finished 4th in the third stage, which featured some cobbled sections, after leading by himself for much of the race until being caught in the last 6 km. He was awarded the most combative rider on the day and thus wore red numbers for the fourth stage. On July 22, 2010 Hesjedal again finished fourth, this time on stage 17 on the famed slopes of the Col du Tourmalet. Hesjedal went on to finish fifth in the overall classification of the 2010 Tour de France, the highest Canadian finish in the race in 22 years, when Bauer finished fourth in the 1988 Tour de France. Hesjedal went on to say of his result:
"I hope this result does positive things for Canadian cycling and motivates the next generation of Canadian cyclists. I hope that’s the biggest thing that comes out of this... This placing will be there [in the books] forever... If this makes more Canadians aware of cycling, and want to cycle, then it will have been worth it for that alone."—Ryder Hesjedal, about his Tour de France 6th place
Hesjedal had a quieter 2011 year, with a few near wins. In April, he put in a spirited effort to finish in ninth position of the Tour of the Basque Country, a World Tour event. He placed in the top 7 for four of the six stages, but went from fifth Overall to ninth after the Individual Time Trial held on the last day, where he came in a minute and 52 seconds behind Tony Martin. He performed well in the 2011 Tour de France though he did not finish as well as his 6th placing of the previous year. He came 18th overall and was part of Team Garmin's team time trial victory on stage 2. On the mountainous stage 16 concluding in Gap, Hesjedal came in sight of the finish line with his teammate Thor Hushovd and another Norwegian, Edvald Boasson Hagen. He set his teammate up by taking the first position and riding hard, allowing Hushovd to launch his sprint and take the win, with Hesjedal coming in third. Other notable results from 2011 include a fourth place at the GP Miguel Indurain, a 10th Overall spot at the Tour of California, twelfth at the classic La Flèche Wallonne and eleventh on a World Tour race held on his home soil, the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal.
Hesjedal rode very strongly in the spring classics, including a 9th placing at Liège-Bastogne-Liège. He also rode the first 4 stages of the Tour de Romandie, but he did not complete the race since Garmin-Barracuda wanted to keep him rested in preparation for the Giro d'Italia, where he would be the team's leader for the overall classification, while his team-mate Tyler Farrar's task would be to contest the sprint finishes.
His Giro that year got off to a good start, Garmin-Barracuda won the team time trial and put Hesjedal in fourth overall and within reach of the overall lead. On May 12, he became the first Canadian in history to lead the overall classification of the Giro and wear the pink jersey. He is the first Canadian rider since Steve Bauer in the 1990 Tour de France to wear an overall classification jersey from a Grand Tour. The event unfolded on stage 7, where the last of the escapees was caught with only 700 meters to go. Hesjedal finished 5th in the uphill finish atop Rocca di Cambio, 5 seconds behind stage winner Paolo Tiralongo of Astana, securing the leader's jersey. Though he would eventually lose the jersey to Joaquim Rodríguez, he would again don the Maglia Rosa for the overall lead on stage 14 after attacking on the Cervinia and leaving his competitors unable to respond. However, Rodriguez managed to reclaim the overall lead the following day.
During the mountain stages of the last week many expected Hesjedal to drop back in the overall standings, however, he remained in the fray hovering between 15 and 30 seconds back of the overall lead. As he was considered a strong time trialist and because of the fact that he attacked often on the final mountain stages, dropping contenders like Ivan Basso and Michele Scarponi, many were led to believe that the Canadian would win the Giro on the final day, including race leader Rodriguez who conceded he had not done enough.
When in fact the last day of the Giro was run on the streets of Milan for the time trial, Hesjedal completed the course in 34:15 which was indeed enough time to take the maglia rosa for the final time. This completed his journey of becoming the first Canadian to win a Grand Tour and only the second time ever that the maglia rosa changed hands on the last day of the Giro. His title was also notable in that it was done on an entirely made and manufactured Canadian bicycle by Cervelo. The victory elicited an immediate response from his home country of Canada, with the nation's Prime Minister, Stephen Harper releasing a statement saying "We thank Mr. Hesjedal for this defining moment in Canadian sport. This remarkable win in one of bicycle racing's most grueling competitions is a testimony to Mr. Hesjedal’s training, endurance, skill and competitive spirit." British Columbia premier Christy Clark added that “For a British Columbian to have done this is amazing. I know this is going to go down as one of the great Canadian accomplishments ever in sport.”
He also received plaudits from former Canadian cyclist Bauer and former Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, the latter tweeting "gotta love it when the best man wins." Allan Peiper, the Garmin team's sporting director compared Hesjedal's 16 second victory to that of 2011 Tour de France winner Cadel Evans' victory. He noted the similarities in the fight to stay within striking distance on the final mountain stages and then the time-trial to victory that both riders had. Of his own final ride up the Passo dello Stelvio Hesjedal said that "I was a bit concerned. As we approached the last part of the Stelvio, none of my rivals were willing to work to conserve their positions, either ... Those are all the tactics and situations. I basically had to save my own Giro in the last five [kilometres]. It was a huge effort."
With his successful Giro, questions were asked if he would still ride the 2012 Tour de France. It was announced in early June that he would be Garmin's team leader for the Tour. Hesjedal was also announced as Canada's male rider in the 2012 Summer Olympics by the Canadian Olympic Committee in June. At the 2012 Tour de France he was close to the overall lead in 8th, 18 seconds back, from the prologue through the first five stages. Hesjedal was then involved in a massive crash during the 6th stage that put him 13 minutes behind and out of contention for the maillot jaune. The following day, Hesjedal withdrew from the event due to the injuries to his leg and hip.
In the fall, Hesjedal had a strong showing in the Italian classic Giro di Lombardia, where he finished sixth in a race that was marked by heavy rain and low temperatures. Only 54 riders out of 197 completed the race. He then looked to end his season on a high note at the Tour of Beijing, putting it all on the line on the hilly fifth stage, where he attacked relentlessly. Only BMC Racing Team rider Steve Cummings could follow him as he tried to put as much distance as possible between himself and race leader Tony Martin. Hesjedal missed his gamble however, was out-sprinted by Cummings for the victory and had to settle for second place for the stage and 18th in the overall classification.
Hesjedal's first race of the season was the Volta a Catalunya, where he helped set up his teammate Daniel Martin for the general classification victory, while preparing himself for his top priority of the season, the Giro d'Italia. Hesjedal rode some spring classics, including Liège-Bastogne-Liège, where he attempted a solo breakaway on the Côte de Colonster with about 15 km (9.3 mi) to cover. He was later swept by a small chasing group containing teammate Daniel Martin. Hesjedal took some pulls at the front of the group and once again played a role in Martin's victory, taking the eighth place for himself.
At the Giro d'Italia, Hesjedal was aggressive on the third stage, breaking away solo on the last climb and then imposing a hard tempo on the descent with rival Vincenzo Nibali, which caused a lot of riders to crash on the rain-soaked tarmac while trying to follow. Hesjedal finished third of that stage in a select sprint, awarding himself an eight second bonus for doing so. After positive results, Hesjedal, however, had several setbacks, which pushed him far back in the peloton of the general classification. Following Stage 12, he withdrew from the race. Misery again followed Hesjedal when he suffered a crash in the Stage 1 of the Tour de France breaking a rib. Despite this he would continue on in the Tour, but finished only seventieth in the overall standings.
In October 2013, following allegations in Michael Rasmussen's book "Yellow Fever", Hesjedal admitted to doping earlier in his career, describing it as his "part in the dark past of the sport".
Following the 2012 Giro d'Italia, Hesjedal helped start a charitable group called the "Ryders Cycling Society of Canada", which stated aim is to “to create and sustain opportunities for young Canadians to ride bicycles.” Hesjedal also auctioned a Maglia Rosa he wore for $10,000, and distributed it to help young Canadian cyclists.
- 2nd, Junior UCI Mountain Bike World Championships
- 2nd, Under-23 World Mountain Bike Championships
- 2nd, UCI Mountain Bike & Trials World Championships
- 4th, Overall, Volta a Catalunya
- 1st, National Time Trial Championships
- 1st, Mountains classification, Tour de Georgia
- 10th, Overall, Tour of California
- 1st, Stage 1 (TTT), Giro d'Italia
- 3rd, Grand Prix d'Ouverture La Marseillaise
- 8th, Overall, Tirreno–Adriatico
- 10th, Monte Paschi Eroica
- 16th, Olympic Time Trial
- 1st, Stage 12, Vuelta a España
- 5th, Clásica de San Sebastián
- 8th, Overall, Tirreno–Adriatico
- 10th, Monte Paschi Eroica
- 2nd, Amstel Gold Race
- 3rd, Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal
- 4th, Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec
- 5th, Montepaschi Strade Bianche
- 5th, Overall, Tour of California
- 1st, Stage 8
- 6th, Overall, Tour de France
- 6th, Overall, Volta a Catalunya
- 6th, Clásica de San Sebastián
- 7th, Coppa Agostoni
- 9th, La Flèche Wallonne
- 4th, GP Miguel Indurain
- 6th, Trofeo Inca
- 7th, Trofeo Deia
- 7th, Overall, Critérium International
- 9th, Overall, Tour of the Basque Country
- 10th, Overall, Tour of California
- 17th, Overall, Tour de France
- 1st, Stage 2 (TTT)
Grand Tour general classification results timeline:
WD = Withdrew; In Progress = IP
Selected classics results timeline:
|Year||Amstel Gold Race||La Flèche Wallonne||Liège–Bastogne–Liège||Clásica de San Sebastián|
WD = Withdrew.
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- "Ryder Hesjedal profile". Canada Olympic Committee. Retrieved May 30, 2012.
- John Colebourn, Andy Ivens and Justin McElroy (May 27, 2012). "'He is a legend now,' says Ryder Hesjedal's proud mom after historic win". Vancouver Sun.
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- Malcolm Kelly (May 27, 2012). "Ryder wins! Hesjedal takes the Giro d'Italia". CBC Sports.
- Andy Johnson (June 3, 2012). "What Ryder's ride means for a Canadian bicycle company". CTV News.
- Oliver Moore (May 27, 2012). "Canadian Ryder Hesjedal wins Giro D'Italia". Globe and Mail.
- Eric Koreen (May 27, 2012). "http://sports.nationalpost.com/2012/05/27/ryder-hesjedal-completes-stunning-journey-with-giro-ditalia-win/". National Post.
- Rupert Guinness (May 27, 2012). "Canadian sends Tour notice". The Age.
- Cleeve Dheensaw (June 6, 2012). "Victoria cyclist Ryder Hesjedal to ride in Tour de France". Vancouver Sun.
- Jesse Campigotto (June 21, 2012). "Cyclists Ryder Hesjedal, Clara Hughes join Olympic team". CBC Sports.
- Jamey Keatan (July 6, 2012). "Canada's Hesjedal involved in crash at Tour de France, likely out of contention". Winnipeg Free Press.
- "Canada's Ryder Hesjedal Withdraws from the Tour de France". TSN. July 7, 2012.
- Neil Davidson (July 28, 2012). "Ryder Hesjedal finishes 63rd in Olympic road race, Kazakhstan’s Vinokourov wins gold". National Post. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
- "London 2012: Bradley Wiggins wins cycling time trial; Ryder Hesjedal 28th". The Star. August 1, 2012. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
- Ben Atkins (29 September 2012). "Joaquim Rodríguez solos to a rainy Lombardia victory and grabs WorldTour lead". CyclingNation (CyclingNation LLC). Retrieved 1 October 2012.
- Barry Ryan (13 October 2012). "Tony Martin wins second consecutive Tour of Beijing". Cycling News (Future Publishing Limited). Retrieved 15 October 2012.
- The Canadian Press (2012-12-26). "Hesjedal wins Lionel Conacher Award for 2012". The Sports Network. Retrieved 2012-12-26.
- Andrew Hood (26 March 2013). "Hesjedal: Giro defense is top priority in Giro-Tour double". VeloNews (Competitor Group, Inc.). Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Jane Aubrey (21 April 2013). "Hesjedal: We salvaged the Classics season". Cyclingnews.com (Future plc). Retrieved 22 April 2013.
- Stephen Farrand (6 May 2013). "Pugnacious Paolini prevails on stage three of Giro d'Italia". Cyclingnews.com (Future plc). Retrieved 11 May 2013.
- "Hesjedal quits the Giro d'Italia". Cyclingnews.com (Future plc). 17 May 2013. Retrieved 17 May 2013.
- "Canadian Ryder Hesjedal racing with broken rib at Tour de France". CBC Sports. July 3, 2013.
- "Her kommer Ryder Hesjedal sin familie fra – TV 2 Sporten". Tv2.no. Retrieved 2012-07-27.
- "Ryders Cycling Society of Canada". Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- Sean Fitz-Gerald (24 August 2012). "Ryder Hesjedal taking a spin as cycling ambassador". National Post (Postmedia Network Inc). Retrieved 16 October 2012.
- "Ryder Hesjedal at Garmin-Sharp". Garmin-Sharp (Boulder, Colorado: Slipstream Sports LLC). December 28, 2012. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Canadas Cycling Superstar Ryder Hesjedal in Victoria and Maui
- "Ryder Hesjedal at Cycling Base". Cycling Base (California: Cycling Base LLC). Retrieved 6 January 2013.
- "Ryder Hesjedal at Cycling Archives". Cycling Archives (California). December 28, 2012. Retrieved March 7, 2013.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ryder Hesjedal.|
- Official website
- Ryder Hesjedal profile at Cycling Archives
- Garmin-Sharp: Ryder Hesjedal
- Cycling Base: Ryder Hesjedal