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Ryder Hesjedal wins the Giro d'Italia, becomes first Canadian to win a Grand Tour.

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Ryder Hesjedal wins the Giro d'Italia, becomes first Canadian to win a Grand Tour.

Old 05-27-12, 05:39 PM
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Ryder Hesjedal wins the Giro d'Italia, becomes first Canadian to win a Grand Tour.



Easy Ryder!

MILAN, Italy -- Canada's Ryder Hesjedal didn't realize history was within his grasp until he was about five kilometres from the Giro d'Italia finish line.

Aware he had a chance to overcome Joaquin Rodriguez's 31-second overall lead in Sunday's final stage, Hesjedal broke out onto the streets of Milan determined to keep victory from slipping away.

Only near the end did he find out he would become the first Canadian to win one of cycling's three major tour races.

"Nothing anyone could have said to me could have changed how hard I rode," he said.

Hesjedal took 34 minutes 15 seconds to complete Sunday's 28.2-kilometre individual time trial in sixth -- 20 places ahead of his Spanish rival. His 16-second margin of victory was the second closest in Giro history.

"It's just been an unreal experience from day one, what the team was able to do. It's unbelievable," said the Victoria native, who finished the race in 91 hours 39 minutes two seconds.

"This is incredible. It's a dream come true."

Like the rest of the riders, Hesjedal had been through a demanding mountain ride to the top of the Stelvio Pass in northern Italy on Saturday.

"Yesterday was extremely hard," he said. "I got through it and I knew as I was on the helicopter descending into Milan that I still had a shot. This morning I just felt incredible on my bike and I knew I could do it."

Though he hadn't taken his victory chances seriously before the race, Hesjedal's thinking started to change after he first wore the overall leader's pink jersey in Stage 7, following a fifth-placed finish.

"I never thought 'I'm going to win,"' he said. "I was always just focused on having a good ride and I knew that would put me up there. The day I pulled on the jersey for the first time I knew I was good and could accomplish something great and that drove me harder."

The 31-year-old Hesjedal became only the third non-Italian to win the Giro in the past 15 years.

Hesjedal and Rodriguez were the last two riders to start on Sunday. Although Rodriguez had worn the pink jersey for 10 days over the course of the race and gave it his all in the time trial, he ended the stage in 35:02.

"I believed it until the end and so it's almost harder for me," said Rodriguez. "It's only now, with hindsight, that you see the mistakes. Maybe we should have distanced Ryder in the first week. But it went how it went and Ryder won.

"He was the strongest in the three weeks. I did my best and I don't have any regrets."
Old 05-27-12, 06:08 PM
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Re: Ryder Hesjedal wins the Giro d'Italia, becomes first Canadian to win a Grand Tour

Probably juiced
Old 05-27-12, 06:23 PM
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Re: Ryder Hesjedal wins the Giro d'Italia, becomes first Canadian to win a Grand Tour

Ryder Hesjedal? Don't sound Canadian.
Old 05-27-12, 06:44 PM
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Re: Ryder Hesjedal wins the Giro d'Italia, becomes first Canadian to win a Grand Tour

Haters!

Born in Victoria, BC. His great-grandparents were Norwegian immigrants.
Old 05-27-12, 07:21 PM
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Re: Ryder Hesjedal wins the Giro d'Italia, becomes first Canadian to win a Grand Tour

I was just poking fun. Of course we were all immigrants here at some point.

Congrats to Ryder
Old 05-27-12, 07:46 PM
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Re: Ryder Hesjedal wins the Giro d'Italia, becomes first Canadian to win a Grand Tour

Holy shit, Giro talk on DVDTalk!

I watched the entire race online. The last two mountain stages were just ridiculous, especially yesterday's Mortirolo followed by Stelvio.
Non-cycling fans, here's a view of the final climb yesterday so you get an idea how outrageous it is:


Uploaded with ImageShack.us

This was at the end of the stage on the second to last day of the race, after they'd already ridden over another, equally famous climb on the same day. 20,000 vertical feet of climbing in one day. Three weeks of racing and then they have to face that. Insane.

Ryder timed the ITT to perfection.

General thoughts on the race:
- Scarponi was fearless in the Dolomiti stages. The guy's tough as nails and made me a fan.
- Purito had insane pop in the steeps and really pushed his ITT. Bringing his kids on the podium showed another side to him. Also, he gave away his bouquet repeatedly to the dignitaries. Seems like a nice guy.
- De Ghent, what can you say, one of the most epic solos on a queen stage I've ever seen. That guy has quads like tree trunks.
- I loved seeing Rabbotini get that stage as well, that was probably the stage performance of the Giro for me. Rainy cold day, huge climbs, soloing for 80K, gets passed 400M from the line and still wins. Awesome. Seeing the owner of Farnese Vini hanging out of the team car yelling encouragement was also great.
- Taylor Phinney looked really strong in the prologue. Could be a great classics rider in a few years.
- Lots of retribution out there this year. Ferrari gets a stage in a clean sprint. Kreutzinger folds and then wins a huge stage. Guardini outsprints Cavendish cleanly. Good stuff.
- Huge performances from the Continental teams. Colnago, Farnese, Adroni, all of them looked right at home with the big teams.
- Awesome fans in Italy
- Goddamn is Italy beautiful
- Goddamn are Italian podium girls hot. The ones on top of Stelvio yesterday were top to bottom quality.

Bring on the Tour!

Last edited by Hiro11; 05-27-12 at 07:58 PM.
Old 05-27-12, 09:00 PM
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Re: Ryder Hesjedal wins the Giro d'Italia, becomes first Canadian to win a Grand Tour

Cavendish loses the points classification by 1 point. Awesome.
Old 05-28-12, 08:45 AM
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Re: Ryder Hesjedal wins the Giro d'Italia, becomes first Canadian to win a Grand Tour

Only one thing to say here : that is the coolest-looking trophy I've ever seen.
Old 05-28-12, 10:22 AM
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Re: Ryder Hesjedal wins the Giro d'Italia, becomes first Canadian to win a Grand Tour

Great picture above. I was trying to think why it looked so different than the online coverage and then realized that everything except the road was covered in snow. We didn't get the Universal Sports channel this year and I totally forgot that it was probably available online until the last couple of days when I found an Italian station and then Eurosport. Nice to see a Canadian win a grand tour for the first time. Looking forward to the epic Schleck/Bruyneel meltdown/showdown at the Tour.
Old 05-28-12, 04:35 PM
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Re: Ryder Hesjedal wins the Giro d'Italia, becomes first Canadian to win a Grand Tour

Originally Posted by cdollaz View Post
Cavendish loses the points classification by 1 point. Awesome.
He's such a dickweed. He basically blamed his team any time he didn't win a stage. Cav's a great sprinter, easily the best of his generation, but he's such a douche that I can't stand him. Cycling all about the spirit in the peleton and he hardly makes any friends out there. His interviews are painful exercises in "how to come off as a complete asshole".
Old 05-28-12, 09:22 PM
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Re: Ryder Hesjedal wins the Giro d'Italia, becomes first Canadian to win a Grand Tour

Originally Posted by Hiro11 View Post
Holy shit, Giro talk on DVDTalk!

I watched the entire race online. The last two mountain stages were just ridiculous, especially yesterday's Mortirolo followed by Stelvio.
Non-cycling fans, here's a view of the final climb yesterday so you get an idea how outrageous it is:


Uploaded with ImageShack.us
Big whoop. That wouldn't be that difficult for me to ride... downhill.

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