Friday, May 25, 2012

Ryder's Riding into History

Ryder Hesjedal is well placed to be the first Canadian to win a grand (three-week) cycling tour. With two days to go in the Giro d'Italia, he's in second place, 17 seconds behind the leader, Joaquim Rodríguez. Hesjedal actually finished 13 seconds ahead of Rodríguez in today's stage, which was a high mountain stage (they basically climbed Mt. Seymour, or worse, four times today over 196 kilometres). Tomorrow they have fewer climbs, but the finish is a 2,000 metre climb, double Mt. Seymour, and steeper.

Sunday's final stage is a time trial, and most observers say Hesjedal is a far better time trialler than the other leading contenders for victory. If today wasn't a fluke, and he has the legs to stay with Rodríguez tomorrow (Saturday) up the monster climb to the finish, all he has to do is stay on his bike on Sunday and he'll easily make up those 17 seconds, and make history in the process.

Go, Ryder, go. Even if you don't care about bicycle racing, now's a great chance to get on the bandwagon and cheer on a Canadian. And for those of us from Saskatchewan, how can we not cheer for a Ryder? (Groan.)

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