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Canadian Rydes into the Top Ten

July 27th, 2010

One of my favourite summer rites is watching the Tour de France.

A mammoth ride of somewhere in the neighbourhood of 2,200 miles over three weeks, these guys are in the saddle for 92 hours or more over that time.  The ride takes them up the Alps and the Pyrenees. The sheer effort required to get up some of the mountain passes is exhausting to watch. The next day, they get up and do it again.

Or, the next day may be flat, and they need to push for speed, hoping the legs have some strength in them, and haven’t turned to Jello overnight (it happens).

ryder-hesjedal-wins-429x349A single crash, as happened to Lance Armstrong this year, can wipe out your Tour. One bad stage (daily race) and the podium is out of the question.

This years Tour had a real edge, with winner Alberto Contador infamously taking advantage of Andy Schleck’s broken chain last week. It was bad cycling etiquette, but more importantly Contador went into the last day leading by the exact time that Schleck lost to Contador on that day. One and two would have been up for grabs on the final, possibly a photo finish after 3,600km.

The Tour de France is, it must be said, a truly incredible athletic endeavour. Every one of these guys an incredible athlete. To win is astounding, to finish the damn thing a true accomplishment.

To finish seventh? Ask Canadian Ryder Hesjedal. Each team has a goto guy, who is expected to compete. Everyone else’s job is support. For Garmin-Transitions, the go to guy was Christian Vande Velde (*pronounced Vanda-Velt). But Vande Velde broke his ribs in stage two, and the Garmin-Transitions ball fell to Hesjedal. Hesjedal, from Victoria, rode one hell of a race, gaining ground in the last days and finishing seventh, 10 minutes and 15 seconds behind Contador.

So Ryder, what’s it like to finish seventh:

Dreams do come true…

It will keep sinking in…

You could be in the form of your life and still not achieve a top 10 in the Tour de France. I was seventh in the Tour. Nobody will be able to take that away from me. I’ll see what I can do from here. I’m looking for many years yet to come of great racing. I’ll test the limits to see what I can do. Who knows what can happen now? I know now I am capable of riding in the front of any race.

Yea, seventh is a big deal.

Congratulations Ryder, job well done.

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  1. real conservative
    July 28th, 2010 at 01:21 | #1

    Job well done indeed but he shouldn’t get too cocky, seventh doesn’t guarantee him a bright future in the sport.

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