Ryder Hesjedal Snags Giro d’Italia Victory During Final Stage


Coming into the 21st and final stage of the Giro d’Italia, Canadian cyclist Ryder Hesjedal had a mere 31 seconds to make up in order to catch fellow Oakley rider Joaquim Rodriguez for the lead. As they charged into Milan, Italy, Hesjedal proved victorious, overtaking Rodriguez to win by a slim 16-second margin. By finishing sixth in the 28.2km Milan time trial stage, Hesjedal was able to secure the overall title, making him the first Canadian rider to ever win a grand tour.

Hesjedal, who rides for Garmin-Barracuda, closed 29 seconds of the final day gap by the first time check and proceeded to chase down the Spaniard Rodriguez shortly after. Rodriguez made it clear that he was nervous about his lead going into the final day and Hesjedal capitalized. Ultimately, Rodriguez finished strong and did not give up as much time as was anticipated. Oakley’s Marco Pinotti won the final stage in 33:06, 39 seconds ahead of Britain’s Geraint Thomas.

The conditions for racing on the final day were perfect and with his wife on hand to witness the action, Hesjedal was overwhelmed with joy when he was told he regained the maglia rosa from Rodriguez.

“It’s been a fantastic experience,” he said. “I started to believe in it more and more when I realized that I was riding better in the mountains than I ever have in any other race. My legs felt good, I was strong in my head and I reached the last day in good condition and managed to write an important page in history.”

Oakley cyclists won over a third of the 21 stages including three for Mark Cavendish, two for Rodriguez, one for Matt Goss, one for Lars Bak, one for Pinotti and one for Taylor Phinney. Rodriguez also won the points Jersey while the best young rider went to Oakley’s Columbian rider Rigoberto Urán.

It was yet another successful Giro d’Italia for Oakley cyclists. Congratulations to Ryder on his impressive tour victory and for making history for his home country of Canada.

Final General Classification:

1 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Garmin – Barracuda 91:39:02
2 Joaquim Rodriguez Oliver (Spa) Katusha Team 0:00:16
3 Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team 0:01:39
4 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre – ISD 0:02:05
5 Ivan Basso (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale 0:03:44


John Ohail


May 29, 2012

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