Former MTB Pro Ryder Hesjedal Wins Giro for Canada

May 29, 2012 at 13:52
by Richard Cunningham  

We don't typically cover much from the spandex-clad skinny tire set, but Ryder Hesjedal is more than worthy of a mention here. Born in Victoria BC, the young Ryder got a sponsored ride on the powerful Gary Fisher Pro Team when XC racers were the rock stars of the sport. Good looking and talented, Hesjedal dressed to the nines, drove fancy cars and earned second-place finishes in three UC World Championships, first as a junior in 1998, then as a U23 in 2001, and another Silver Medal in 2003.


After a disappointing flat and DNF in the barbecue-hot Athens Olympics, the Canadian XC racer refocused and switched to road racing, where he paid his dues as domestique, working for top earners on a number of Pro-Tour teams. After his first stage win in 2009 in the Vuelta de Espana, Hesjedal cranked it up, scoring further victories and earning the coveted red ‘Most Combative’ jersey a number of times.


It was the 2012 Giro, however, that will forever etch 31-year-old Ryder Hesjedal into the annals of cycling. His victory at this most revered classic – second only to the Tour de France – was a first for Canada and a must-win for any international road racer who aspires to greatness. Ryder attacked and crushed his nearest rivals on the last climbing stage on the Alpe di Pampeago, and then wrested the overall lead in the final time trial to win the overall by 16 seconds. We expect more good things to come from the Canadian Garmin/Barracuda racer in the future and will be watching him in this year’s Tour de France. Congratulations Ryder!

learn more about Ryder here




50 Comments

  • 31 3
 hes-je-dal
verb
hes-je-dal’ed, hes-je-dal’ing
1. to physically dominate ones cycling opponents through superior training, endurance, and skill
2. to secure the win on the last day of a contest
3. to crush.
  • 17 1
 With Cadel Evans winning the Tour De France and Ryder the Giro there is no doubt that Mountain Bikers rule. Biggest win ever for a Canadian cyclist media wise, and they all report he got his start in Mountain Biking. Also it seems to me he raced as a Junior on a Rocky, like most BC riders, long before the Fisher sponsorship. Way to go Ryder!
  • 9 0
 Ryder Hesjedal FTW !!!...a Canadian champion on Canadian bike !!!...way to go !!!
  • 3 4
 FYI. It's a Dutch bike company now. Nonetheless congrats Ryder FTW you made Canada proud
  • 5 0
 FYI. Cervelo is Canadian
  • 1 3
 Cervelo's head office is now in switzerland. their bikes are made in Asia..... not really Canadian anymore.
they are as canadian as cannondale is Smile oh, and GT they're canadian too Smile
  • 2 1
 en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cerv%C3%A9lo

Says it's Canadian in the first sentence. End-of-story.
  • 1 2
 Don't believe everything Wiki says. Do your research. End of story. road.cc/content/news/52780-cervélo-confirms-sale-today-pon-bicycle-group
  • 1 0
 Yeah, because wikipedia is known to be a reliable source, never fucked around with by children
  • 11 1
 Wow, guess no one bothers to fact check articles about road riding huh? "Ryder attacked and crushed his nearest rivals on the last climbing stage on the Alpe di Pampeago"....

The Alpe di Pampeago came on stage 19, which was the second to last climbing stage... Ryder didn't crush anyone either, Kreuziger won the stage and Hesjedal only put 13 seconds into Rodriguez with Rodriguez then taking back 14 seconds the following day on stage 20 (the actual last climbing stage of the Giro) on the ascent up the Passo dello Stelvio (where Thomas De Gendt did crush the competition in leaping up to 4th place overall from 8th).

Awesome ride by Hesjedal & one of the best Grand Tours in years but he won through being consistent throughout and being better than the competition in the TT...
  • 12 9
 Fact checking on Pink Bike?

Yeah right, the whole site would get shut down!
  • 4 0
 Agreed, Ryder didn't crush anyone, he won because he is a great all-arounder and strong on the TT. Vande Velde kept him in the chase through at least the first half of the Stelvio climb. After that Ryder really showed his mettle when he lead the pack of "favourites" midway up Stelvio when no one else wanted to take the lead. Rodriguez used that to his advantage and pulled away at the top of the climb but hey that's good strategy.

Ryder was a class act and was quick to acknowledge the contribution of his teammates.

Naive perhaps, but I like to think the fact that he won by 16 seconds is an indication that the sport has cleaned up and the playing field has been levelled.
  • 1 1
 by this point of the race, Kreuziger was not a threat or rival. 13 seconds to rodriguez is alot, 16 to scarponi, 35 to basso. id say thats significant, since at the beginning of the day none of the gc contenders saw hesjedal as a threat
  • 2 1
 Say what you want... you're wrong. Everyone saw his as a threat at that point of the race. Maybe on stage 2 or 3 they didn't see him as a threat but by stage 19, they new damn well he was the biggest threat to the overall of the race. Given that Rodriguez took back 14 seconds the following day Ryders preformance on stage 19 was nothing earth shattering by any measure and he didn't "crush" anyone.
  • 13 0
 about time you mentioned it ....
  • 11 1
 21 days of racing, 3502 km and 5900 m of brutal climbing. Winning on the final day's time trial where it was Ryder all alone. Awesome.
  • 7 1
 Amazing descending too, those guys have skill and balls. Riding rim brakes and super skinny 21c tyres down steep alpine passes layered with damp and grease, seriously impressive. Almost as impressive as the speed they hold on the climbs.
  • 13 1
 5900m of climbing? the Stelvio alone is 2700m! These guys are uber-athletes, just amazing!

Queue the kids to tell me that they're not very good cos the roads are smooth or something so not hard to ride...yeah, right!
  • 1 0
 Awesome rider no doubt, and really stoked that an american (continent wise) in this case a Canadian got the maglia rosa for the first time ever. Still, I differ, he did put the time down on his very own legs in the final stage and made the winning all the more exciting, it has been only 2 times in history the maglia rosa is won in the last day.

But all alone? No sir, he had a great team helping him stay in time and in the chase, no body wins a Giro all alone. I hope he decides to ride the Tour instead of the Olympics!!

Eygon, you are right try riding 40K on a single day on any terrain on any bike and then it is understood what this guys go through a single day of riding!
  • 1 2
 cloverleaf - I agree, I went once a short ride with one of this years Giro contender to one of passes near my hometown, he was really really impressive - despite not knowing the road (very well known to me) he went out of sight after first three corners. However not all of them are that skilled, Andy Shleck for instance, unlike his brother is a disaster. When you watch WATTS on eurosport many bails are due to poor technique like moto-gp style cornering. I found that a bit humiliating to the sport when after last years Giro so many cyclists complained that descents were too dangerous.

But in general they deserve lots, lots of respect even if for pedalling only, my friend who finished 106th in general trains 6-8h 3 to 4 times a week + 2 days of few hour intervals or sprints - and I thought my office chair gets uncomfortable every evening...
  • 1 0
 Waki, some of the descents are dangerous, think of Wouter Weylandt at last year's Giro. It's easy to say these roads are safe at normal speeds, but try doing them at 70mph (110kph-ish) and everything becomes very different. I have massive respect for the size of the balls these guys have. Dont get me wrong, DH riders are insane too, but come off a DH bike at race pace you might have a few broken bones, but on a 70mph road descent, if you crash, there is a high chance you'll be killed by either the impact or falling off the side of the road down an alp. Not to mention it might be a long downhill right into a sharp switchback, with shit side pull brakes and shit carbon brake surfaces struggling to slow you down in time.

Cesalec, I know what it's like, I ride road a lot, and can't imagine what it's like to ride 200km day after day after day. I did a 160km ride the other month and it took 3-4 days to recover, and I'm certainly not unfit!
  • 4 0
 When I was a roadie I looked at what MTBers did on a bike and I thought it looked dangerous. Now, after 20 years of MTB, I look at roadies do on a bike and I think it is far more dangerous. On dirt generally you can hear and feel that you are losing traction - you know you are riding at the limit. There is no such warning on a road bike... one second you are upright - the next your skin is being grated off.
  • 1 2
 Eyon - what I meant was that such elements should be present in road racing. Just as in XC racing the first man on single track gets advantage, so that in time racers in peloton going at 70kph should get it that if appraching a dangerous part they adjust their riding to the conditions, like by spreading - you haven't taken a good position in peloton - your bad. I know I am not about to change the world here but there's too many service cars and coverage motorcycles that do cause many carnages - if you puncture then your bad - you deal with it by carrying tubes and Co2 charges, if you fk up your wheel, then either take a stronger one to the next race. Disc brakes should make that possible as you can ride with fkd up wheel. That sport has went over the board with limiting variables, introducing few new ones will make it better for the public - what's better for the public is worse for riders health but better for their wallets
  • 1 0
 No pro roadies ride on 21 tires anymore, most are on 23-25.

This win shows Mountain biking is the best way to develop strong legs and bike skills. Interesting that both he and Cadel won their Grand Tours the same way; hang on on the climbs and crush the pure climbers in the TT.
  • 6 0
 Right on Ryder. Amazing athlete. Winning mountain bike races and major Tours. Insane.
  • 5 0
 21,000' of climbing Saturday and he smiled while crushing it. He is so cool. It is an excellent week in Canadian cycling......Steve Smith and Batty killing it as well
  • 3 0
 makin' us proud!
  • 1 0
 IMAGINE hanging with Ryder and Woody in Hawaii
  • 3 0
 Never thought I'd see the day when a Roadie Report appeared on Pinkbike ! Cool !!
I've always seen myself as "just" a bike rider as I ride everything from Dirt to DH to Cross Country to Road.
The Mountainbike helps my Bike-handling skills on the Road enormously and the Road helps my endurance and Tempo off Road.
Never forget it's always a bike with 2 wheels and we all do the same thing, just in different places ;-)
  • 3 0
 It doesn't matter if its road, I think a lot of guys can appreciate what Ryder has done for cycling in Canada and the USA. Its great that you chose to run this Pinkbike. So many of us indulge in all sorts of riding disciplines. So covering such a huge and monumental achievement like this will have a large reach here. Way to go Ryder, you make me proud to be Canadian!
  • 6 1
 Sigh...kids on this place... forget about racers like Allison Sydor, Steve Bauer, Clara Hughes, etc.
  • 6 0
 he is the 1st Canadian to podium on any grand tour. Bauer only placed 4th
  • 2 1
 Also, the people who are old enough to remember, still remember. The rest weren't even born when those guys were around.
  • 5 0
 Thats a prity cool trophy
  • 5 0
 congrats to Ryder been a long time commin'
  • 7 0
 Well done to Ryder Salute


Good to see some road news make it on home page too.
  • 5 0
 Ya Ryder! This was an awesome race to follow this year.
  • 2 0
 Way to go man nice to see I don't know if to many people know what that means
  • 1 0
 Wow!....a huge and monumental win for Ryder! Amazing and Congratulations to him and his Team! Road or Dirt its all Bikes all the time for this kid!
  • 1 2
 I know few about road cyclist, but I say: I hate format of competition - look at three or four motorbikes and two cars following him - it is ridiculous. I wonder when they ride all together for 4-6 hours, is every bike being followed by dedicated motorized vehicle?
  • 3 1
 All I can say is: LIKE A BOSS
  • 1 0
 waiting for some grom to comment about how road biking shouldnt be on pinkbike.
  • 2 0
 the best and worthwhile road news ever on pinkbike!
  • 2 0
 Good to see some road news on pinkbike !!!!!!!
  • 1 0
 amazing tour for Ryder. he's got another tour win in that engine of his. just wait and see.
  • 1 0
 Great win and I think they should add more road bike articles to the page Big Grin
  • 2 1
 Well that was just dandy.
  • 1 0
 Ita a GREAT day for Canada,everyone in this country should be proud!
  • 2 1
 je-yeah!
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