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Ride, Ryder, Ride

May 25th, 2012

Pink on guys doesn’t usually work. Oh sure some metro-sexual carrying a Starbucks mug with the tea bag string sticking out the side might get away with wearing a pink shirt to go with his suit and tie. It can be done with minimal mocking – but there will be mocking. There is, however, one Canadian boy who looks mighty good in pink.

Going into stage 19 of the 21 stage Giro d’Italia bicycle race, Canadian Ryder Hesjedal is riding 2nd place, having worn the Maglia Rosa – Pink Jersey – as the race leader for 3 days. With todays hard mountain stage ongoing as of this writing, and another tough day in the mountains tomorrow the job for Hesjedal is survive the mountains for a chance to win on the individual time trials Sunday morning. How likely is this? Current leader Joaquin Rodriguez had this to say after Wednesdays stage (note: english is not Spaniard Rodriquez first language):

I think Ryder Hesjedal is the great favourite. Today he was not able to lose any seconds and if the gap stays like this… I won’t have any chance against him in the Milan individual time trial. So, we have to attack him and make him drop, otherwise he will win this competition.

Make no mistake of the significance of this. A Canadian has never won the Giro and, in fact, Hesjedal is the first Canadian to wear the Maglia Rosa in it’s 95 year history. And Hesjedal’s performance at the Giro makes him a serious contender for the Tour de France and to medal at the Olympics in London this summer.

The Gyro d’Italia can be watched via live stream, starting about 7:30 in the mornings. Don’t miss Sunday when a Canadian stands to make history as the first Canadian man to wear pink and not deserve mockery.

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Note: Hesjedal finished second in today’s stage, 13 seconds ahead of third place Rodriguez. With 2 stages to go, and Hesjedal a superior time trial rider, he only has 17 seconds to make up.

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