May 31, 2012

Hans' A Bicycle Ride; Vancouver 1974

Vancouver 1974

Hans sent me this wonderful time capsule called, "A Bicycle Ride: Vancouver 1974."

I actually saw this via twitter before he notify me and I didn't notice his name, along the bottom left corner, until now, I guess I'm going to have put my glasses on. This video has gone viral, an astounding 5000 hits in 2 days! And, CBC has interviewed Hans and he will appear on the evening news. I'll send a link as soon as it's published.

Enjoy this time capsule of an earlier Vancouver that looked, at times, more like an outpost than a city. Included is Hans' trademark humor with the VW tally. One aspect of this video is time, spot how much gas was in 1974 and we can see how parts of the city has made a marked change.

Hans said that he rode around 40 kms, using a  Braun Nizo Super 8 Camera mounted on his bicycle. He then re-traced the same route in 2011 shooting still images at key points to show then and now. Love the early Vancouver radio of the seventies, too. In 1974, I was growing up as pimply faced kid in Edmonton and I would have to wait 14 years before moving to Vancouver.

Bravo Hans for this fabulous time capsule!

May 30, 2012

Serious and Stylin' with Jonathan of Road Holland!

Guy, Jonathan & I at Musette Caffe
Courtesy from Thomas.

This afternoon, Guy and I had the pleasure to meet one of our sponsors, Jonathan Schneider founder of Road Holland: Serious and Stylish Cycling Wear!

After many years of blogging, I'm always amazed that relationships can be developed via the Internet world. In fact, that's how I met Guy. Back in 2008, he contacted me after reading my blog and the rest is history.

In case you don't know Road Holland, they are based in Florida where they make excellently crafted cycling jerseys.Thus the tie in with Guy and I, we enjoy our Road Holland jerseys and I own three of them. Comfortable fitting cycling jerseys that look equally stunning on or off the bike. I love my Arnhem long sleeve for it's comfort and fit. My review here.

Jonathan is in town for a quick business trip, and had enough time to meet us at Musette Caffe. You know when you meet someone for the first time and hit it off? Well, we did! The conversation was so easy going that I felt that I knew Jonathan for years. We talked about Road Holland and got a glimpse of the upcoming new jersey. Sorry, I can't say more than that... you'll just have to wait for it to come out.

But, all good things must come to an end... we had to leave and hopefully, Jonathan will be back so the next time we can all go for a ride.

Thanks again to Thomas of Musette Caffe for hosting us!

May 29, 2012

Steve Bauer: Not a surprise, takes years and years...

Two videos shortly after Ryder Hesjedal's monumental Giro d'italia victory interviewed by CBC's Sandy Wilson.

May 28, 2012

Hockey Nation Meets Cycling

Canada may well be known as a hockey nation but I believe with Ryder Hesjedal's Giro victory it's a good blend of cycling & hockey. Here's Ryder waving the Canadian flag with the hockey stick!

He Scores!

May 27, 2012


Our Canadian Hero...
Proud of you Ryder!


I've never felt such elation and national pride since Steve Bauer rode into the cycling limelight back in 1985. Back then, I remember the Globe and Mail sent journalist, Robert Zeller to cover the first Canadian in the Tour de France. The first pictures and stories of Bauer in the white jersey is a fond memory and a precursor for me that Canada could and would crack the European cycling world and challenge the big races. Some die-hard fans even went over to France to cheer on Bauer, coining the famous phrase on signs... BAUER POWER!

Ryder Power!

Now, Ryder is the very first Canadian to win the Giro, and Grand Tour in style with Grinta! Perhaps the Weight of the Nation phrase is becoming old hat, one for the history books. But, a timely one since Ryder had a look of a Grand Tour winner placing 6th in the 2010 Tour. After that performance, the phrase stuck.

Bauer planted the first Canadian cycling seeds, up until today his fourth place in the 1988 Tour was the best Canadian in a Grand Tour, the highest Canadian finish in the Tour in 22 years.

Today is a great day for Canada, on top of the cycling world... BRAVO RYDER!

A Legend is born...

May 26, 2012

VDV Rides Out of His Skin, Flyin' the Maple Leaf, 31 seconds & Cima Coppi

Chapeau De Gendt!
"The last few kilometers were very hard,
I was dying!"

Somewhere after his super amazing ride, Christian Vande Velde was probably smiling after riding out of his skin for Ryder Hesjedal. Same can be said for Peter Stetina, both were phenomenal setting and holding the pace high. Especially, Vande Velde paced Hesjedal up the monster 24 km Stelvio. What a picture of tenacity as VDV held it for kilometers after kilometers then dropping back with about 5kms remaining. Job done.

It was appropriate the battle changed at the very top of the snowy Stelvio as Hesjedal and Rodriguez started to react. Thomas De Gendt was having a ride of his life, riding hard since the Mortirolo, and went close to the virtual leadership.

"It worked out great. I was able to help out on the Stelvio,
for 45 minutes to keep a constant tempo. De Gendt was surpising."

Purito jumped with a kilometer left and took 12 seconds, 31 seconds in front of Hesjedal who finished sixth 3:36 behind.

Hesjedal said.

I hope it's enough. Everyone seemed to be racing for me to lose today. The whole day, they stuck it to us. I was proud of how we rode."

De Gendt fabulously won the Queen stage and the Cima Coppi, 219 kms, 5,900 meters of steep climbing, that's two-thirds of the elevation of Mount Everest. De Gendt rocketed to fourth 2:18 behind Purito.

Tomorrow, the dramatic showdown, to this exciting Giro, will be on the streets of Milan. The Giro organizers has stated, on the Giro poster, it will be a fight for the pink. How they are so right for Ryder and Purito... right down to the last 31 kms of Sunday's TT!

Weight of the Nation...
O Canada, GO RYDER!

How to pronounce Hesjedal:

Most on television has mispronounced his last name, saying Hesh-DALL. The CBC (Canadian Broadcasting Corp.) asked Ryder and it's,  Hesh-JAH-dall, with an emphasis on the second syllable.

Stage 20: Caldes/Va di Sole-Passo dello Stelvio 218km.

Full Results.

May 25, 2012

Hesjedal's 17 seconds

Kreuziger finished first on this tough stage...

Grandissimo! Scalatore!

Two words used by the Italian commentators of Ryder Hesjedal's incredible ride today on stage 19. Five categorized climbs was the setting for the prize fight between the top men: Rodriguez, Scarponi, Basso & Hesjedal.

All three wanted to topple the threat of Hesjedal but it turned out, with 3kms remaining, a reversal of fortune ...for Ryder.

Roman Kreuziger won the stage with Hesjedal riding an stellar second refusing to let go of toughest rivals over the 198 kilometers. The weight of the nation finished second, 13 seconds ahead of Rodriguez and clipping away precious time to 17 seconds in the overall.

19 seconds later...
"I finished very tired. But I'm confident."

Purito summed it up best afterwards...

We had to attack Ryder, but in the end it was he who gave us a lesson. Now, he has the race in his hands. As long as he doesn't make a mistake, he'll be impossible to beat."

The toughest stage awaits tomorrow with the insanely steep Mortirolo and Stelvio... for Ryder only 17 seconds from destiny.

And, I'll be waiting for the Italian commentators to yell,


Stage 19, Treviso-Alpe di Pampeago 198 km.

Full Results.

May 24, 2012

Sizing up Rodriguez, Bike Bling, Dawn of a New Guard-ini

Look out! Cav, Guardini in da sprinting house!
Photo: Luk Beniesluk

The final day for the sprinters to show their fast legs on the short stage 18 to Vedelago was an upset win by up an comer Andrea Guardini.

He beat King Cavendish cleanly to win his first Giro stage. He's only 21 and I heard the Italian press has called him the new Cipollini. Why not? I wonder whether  Cipo has given him some sprinting advice, he's already supplying the Farnese Vini-Neri team with his bikes. What a great confidence boost for the young Italian sprinter.

The battle for the pink jersey will continue in earnest with the monster climbs of stage: 19 & 20. Here's Christian Vande Velde sizing up Rodriguez...

Friday's Stage 19 horror.

I expect to go up them pretty well. The Stelvio is good for me.
The longer, the better.

Vande Velde one of Hesjedal's closest friends said,

Tomorrow is going to be another big day. And the way he looked yesterday, I think it destroyed some people's mental fortitude. He's definitely got the eye of the tiger.

Canadian, Dominique Rollin (riding his first grand tour) was hit by a Vacansoleil car on stage 17, suffered minor injury to his left arm and leg on the descent off the Passo Valparola. Luckily, nothing broken and he appears to be ok and will continue on with the goal of finishing in Milan.

And, Shimano has this teaser to captivate any bike lover, I'm included in this fast growing tribe. If you don't find the expensive bike bling interesting, well there's always the shiny big team buses! My favorite are the FDJ's Lapierre bikes complete with the fierce rooster on bike motif!

May 23, 2012

Stubborn Consistency

Only the strong survived!
Purito wins in front of Basso and Hesjedal,
dedicating the win to Xavier Tondo.

Ryder Hesjedal is projecting a calm coolness of consistency that most of the contenders are developing a growing consternation.

Most, rather all followers at the start of the Giro would not have given Hesjedal any chance in winning this race. Now, after the dramatic stage to Cortina d'Ampezzo having going through four major mountain passes including grinding up the famed Passo Giau, most are saying Ryder Hesjedal is the big favorite.

Joaquim Rodriguez has the most to lose, holding a slim 30s lead he said,

"Now, I think that Ryder Hesjedal is the big favourite. He didn’t lose even a second on me today and if the gaps stay the same I won’t have a chance against him in the time-trial in Milan (the final stage on Sunday). Ryder was there all day today. If the Giro continues like this, the victory will be his. I hope he cracks and I’ll do everything I can to make him crack. But Ryder is strong. Therefore I have no option but to attack and to try and distance him, if not he will win.”

Garmin DS Alan Peiper said,

“Ryder is in a great place right now. He’s as confident as I’ve ever seen him. He believes in himself and today was a big confirmation that he’s ready to fight for the pink jersey all the way to Milan.”

For Ryder, he continues his quiet resolve of taking the race one day at a time,

“Today was huge. There were not a lot of people who thought I could be third on the stage and sitting second overall in the Giro. I have said since December that I am going to aim to be good in the GC. So far, it’s gone well, I am riding well and I want to take advantage of the situation. We’ll see what happens in the next mountain stages. Anyone who’s ever watched me knows that in every three-week tour I’ve done I’ve gotten better every day.”

Afterwards, the Lumberjack at rest.

With all the media play around him, I discovered this morning on twitter that writer Daniel Friebe mentioned that the Italian cycling press has nicknamed Ryder Hesjedal... 'The Lumberjack." 

Here's our new GRINTA-CERVINIA cycling cap by
©Red Dots Cycling.
Honoring Ryders' return in pink jersey on stage 14 to the 
mountain top finish in Cervinia!
Check it out here.

Stage 17 Falzes/Pfalzen-Cortina d'Ampezzo 187 km

Full Results.

Maglia Rosa: Joaquim Rodriguez
Maglia Rossa: Mark Cavendish
Maglia Azzurra: Matteo Rabottini
Maglia Bianca: Rigoberto Uran Uran

May 22, 2012

Ryder's Big Week

 Ryder's awesome attack stage 14 to Cervinia to win back the pink jersey.
Photo Luk Benies

The final week of action starts today.

Ryder Hesjedal, currently 30s behind Joaquim Rodriguez, is ready to stamp his authority onto this exciting race. Holding the maglia rosa on two occasions the crucial final week of high mountains will be nothing but challenging and epic. Here's Ryder's thoughts...

It's been tough every day. This race always has something there to keep the stress high and the pain going. Hard to believe but yeah. I mean there's no way you can do it if you didn't. It's too hard, it's too long, it's too demanding. If you were hating it every moment, you wouldn't be here.

Sure there's hard moments and you're suffering and you'd rather be other places, but the rewards you get back from preserving, that's what keeps you here and I wouldn't trade anything for it. 

I'm completely satisfied with the race to date. I'll just take every days as a bonus and see how far I can take it to Milan. Definitely a race I won't forget. It's just been great. So, every day's been hard and important. And this last week, it's the same. Even the medium mountain days, they call them, in the first two weeks were brutal. It's been that way the whole race... I'm just going to keep doing what I've been doing, that's all there is to it.

We're in the groove now, and we just keep pushing through and it will be over before we know it.

An amazing two weeks done for the Canadian, wore the pink jersey (on two occasions) and looking ahead for further success...

Go Ryder!

May 21, 2012

Giro Fashionistas: The Devil Wears Pink, Ride of Farnesse Vini

Didi chases Matteo.

Today is a most welcome rest day for the riders.

Yesterday's stage was epic with Matteo Rabottini winning, in dramatic fashion. That's what I want to touch, on briefly, fashion.

As the Giro is all about fashion, and the Italians have an upper hand here. The Farnese Vini-Selle Italia fluorescent yellow kit with the matching Cipollini bikes is certainly eye-catching. Why do you like it? or Hate it?

It stands out in the hyper mix of color kits in the peloton. And, it's easy to spot cresting over the fog shrouded mountain passes. One thing's for sure, it's a winner with Rabottini's heroic ride.

It may not be entirely all Italian as my fashion thumbs up goes to the wildly popular German icon, (No, it's not Jan Ullrich or Erik Zabel) it's Didi Seft because...

The Devil Wears Pink!

May 20, 2012

Matteo Rabottini comes back, Ryder has no problems giving it back.

SWEET VICTORY for the 24 year old!

A fall won't stop Rabottini!

The rest day couldn't arrive soon enough, for the riders, as this Giro is heating up to be one of the most memorable in years.

This morning, as I was getting ready to ride with the FRFuggitivi gruppo, I eagerly awaited the action. Would Ryder Hesjedal be able to defend the maglia rosa?

Wet, cold and miserable were the conditions as Matteo Rabottini (Farnese Vini-Selle Italia) led the mountainous stage from almost start to finish. I've included the re-cap video showing his near collapse falling on the descent. Towards the end he looked tired from his mesmerizing solo ride to be joined by Purito.

Yesterday's final 27 km climb was tailored for the abilities of Hesjedal. Today's final 7 km climb was perfect for Purito as he attacked with 1.2km remaining.

What looked like a sure win for the Spanish rider, Rabottini found an extra amount of grinta to cross the finish line in victory denying Rodriguez the stage. Purito took 30 seconds from Hesjedal (12th 39s behind Rabbotini), enough to take back the pink jersey. This is looking like a see-saw battle with a particularly nefarious, dramatic high mountains to come (stages: 17, 19, 20).

The always calm Hesjedal said,

"It's clear that he's in good shape and we've got quite the  little battle shaping up here. The team was awesome again on a real tough day to be in the jersey and I enjoyed it again. It was exciting to take it back yesterday and I've go no problems giving it back."

Stage 15 Busto Arisizio-Lecco/Piani dei Resinelli 169 km.

Full Results.

Stage Winner: Matteo Rabottnni

Maglia Rosa: Joaquim Rodriguez
Maglia Rossa: Mark Cavendish
Maglia Azzurra: Matteo Rabottini
Maglia Bianca: Sergio Heano


2. Ryder Hesjedal (30s)
126. Dominque Rollin (2:05:41)
137. Christian Meier (2:20:52)
162. Svein Tuft (2:48:28)

May 19, 2012

Ryder is Back in Pink!

Simply stunning...
Welcome back in Pink Ryder!

Stage 14 on the steep climb to Cervinia.

I didn't really need my early morning coffee to wake me up as I witnessed a brilliant ride by Ryder Hesjedal to wrestle back the Maglia Rosa from Joaquim Purito Rodriguez.

The mountains begin!

Cold, wet and rain. Miserable conditions almost Canadian like temperatures for British Columbia's Hesjedal as he dropped a bomb of a ride attacking with two kms remaining. Rodriguez tried to follow, unable to do nothing to stop him losing the Maglia Rosa to Hesjedal. Was it the inclement weather? or Was he caught, like all the favorites, by surprise the quick thinking Canuck?

Our Canadian hero (aka Weight of the Nation) proved to be the strongest of the contenders attacking to finish fourth in exciting circumstances finishing 20 seconds behind the gutsy winner, Andrey Amador. The Costa Rican won his first Giro stage and looked like losing it on the descent of the Col de Joux. I wouldn't call him reckless but he took many chances on the dangerous slippery roads. I thought he would cook it and fall over the barrier and over the edge.

Amador wins his first Giro stage, Jan Barta (gutsy 2nd),
Alessandro De Marchi (3rd).

Purito did all he could and trailed in seventh 46 seconds behind, good for Ryder to take back the Pink jersey. Today's stage was the start of the really mountains; Col de Joux and the mountaintop finish in the Cervinia ski station was extra hard due to the cold and wet conditions.

Rigoberto Uran was sixth and wears the Maglia Bianca of best young rider.

Hesjedal putting his cards on the table!

Now, Ryder Hesjedal considers himself as a favorite for the Giro,

"With a time trial to finish, yeah, I can take time on anyone on GC."

Michele Scarponi (10th 1:20s behind) said,

"Hesjedal is a fine rider. He anticipated the finale, we waited a bit longer to move and he stayed away. He's certainly not to be underestimated."

Full Results.

Stage 14 Cherasco-Cervinia 206km

Stage winner: Andrey Amador

Maglia Rosa: Ryder Hesjedal
Maglia Rossa: Mark Cavendish
Maglia Azzurra: Michal Golas
Maglia Bianca: Rigoberto Uran

The 14th stage was all DRAMA!

Before stage 14...
One of my favorites, Beppu!

May 18, 2012

Ag2R La Mondiale: The Monkey is off their back

Allez Sylvain!
First pro tour stage win for Sylvain Georges!

The pressure is off.

Ag2R La Mondiale came back with back to back wins today which will more than satisfy the team and sponsors. They were the only WorldTour team without a win this season, now with a remarkable one-two.

Sylvain Georges produced a scintillating ride managing to get into the breakaway early in the race. He rode for 40 km solo to win stage 6 of the Amgen Tour of California.

His teammate, Sebastien Hinault won today's stage 3 of the Circuit de Lorraine. He is a rider back to form from fracturing his scaphoid at the Grand Prix E3.

With their new found success, can John Gradet pull off a Giro mountain stage victory?

Sebastien Hinault (no relation to the Badger) wins a much needed 
victory for the team!
via cyclingnews

A relief for Ag2R's management... two fine wins and getting that pesky monkey off their back!

We'll soon be seeing more of this unique jersey on the podium!

May 17, 2012

Lars Bak: "I went BOOM!"

The fuggitivi (Italian expression for fugitives or the breakaway group) group of nine riders tested the peloton and also the middle mountains of the Apennines.

Michal Golas was part of the escapees and took advantage and went off to gather mountain points to claim the Maglia Azzurra. On the very technical descent down the Valico La Mola, Golas almost cooked it and looked like running off the course. His daredevil descent riding was something to witness. I'm glad nothing went sideways for him.

Right on time!
Screaming down into the finish.
Photo Bettini

The breakaway group did come back together including two riders that had a chance for the Maglia Rosa; Sandy Casar (FDJ) and Ivan Sanaromita (BMC). But, with 1.5 kms remaining, three times Danish national time trial champion, Lars Bak timed his attack with precision and won his very first Giro stage.

"It wasn't an easy stage. I am not a sprinter, I am not a climber. You have to ride into breakaways and take your chances. I was a little bit back in the group, and when somebody closed down the attack, I went boom - and got 200 then 300 meters before they could react. Luckily the breakaway stayed away to the finish... I am very happy."

The main pack finished 3:48 back with enough time for Purtio to stay in pink, for Lars Bak heroic day's victory.

Full Results.

Stage 12: Seravezza-Sestri Levante 157km

Winner: Lars Bak
Maglia Rosa: Joaquim Rodriquez
Maglia Rosso: Mark Cavendish
Maglia Azzurra: Michal Golas
Maglia Bianca: Damiano Caruso

May 16, 2012

Ferrari 'Wins' Stage 11

Roberto Ferrari wins into Montecatini Terme.

With about 400 meters to go, Sacha Modolo slid off his bike and right into the barrier during stage 11, as the sprinters were getting into position for the final gallop into Montecatini Terme.

It was the longest stage (255km) of this Giro. Flat, culminating in another sprinters duel with a final technical corner bringing down Modolo and many others. Matt Goss wasn't in the final move, Cavendish was but slightly behind as Roberto Ferrari turned on the after-burners and won his first Giro victory.

After the stage, Ferrari said,

"I wanted to make up for what happened in Denmark. I apologise once again. I thank the jury for letting me continue in the race, who understood that it wasn't a deliberate mistake."

Cavendish angrily replied,

"I congratulate you (Ferrari) for today but you're lucky to still be in the race. But the commissioners should have sent you home."

Full Results.

Stage 11 Assisi-Montecatini Terme:
Maglia Rosa: Joaquim Rodriguez
Maglia Rosso: Mark Cavendish
Maglia Azzurra: Miguel Rubaino Chavez
Maglia Bianca: Damiano Caruso

Canadians on GC:
2. Ryder Hesjedal (0:17s)
136. Christian Meier (1:05:58)
140. Dom Rollin (1:07:59)
165. Svein Tuft (1:20:34)

May 15, 2012

Purito Smokes Stage 10 & wears the Pink!


That's what Joaquim Purito Rodriguez does so well, at the end of the uphill finish in the ancient city of Assisi secured a stage victory and the pink jersey from going out with guns blazing by Ryder Hesjedal.

The pocket rocket (my nickname for him) looked like his explosive run up the Mur de Huy to win the Fleche Wallonne. He was pegged as the favorite to win this steep climb (a very harsh last kilometer) into the narrow streets of Assisi. Classy win by a classy rider, wearing classier shades on the podium blowing kisses wearing the maglia rosa.

Hey Purito, aren't those Oakley Frogskins?

For Ryder Hesjedal, a good fight until the end losing six seconds, and with Purito taking the time bonus points, is in second overall 17s behind. Still, a good position to be close but not having the pressure to lead it. Hesjedal achieves a massive amount of respect and admiration and readies for a busy third week where he says,

"I am looking more toward the third week. That's where I am usually at my best. That's where everything is decided. I hope to be at my best. There's still a long way to go."

Ryder's last day in Pink?

Full Results.

Stage 10: Civitavecchia-Assisi 187 km.
Maglia Rosa: Joaquim Rodriguez
Maglia Rossa: Matt Goss
Maglia Azzurra: Miguel Rubiano Chavez
Maglia Bianca: Damiano Caruso

Canadians on GC:
2. Ryder Hesjedal (0:17)
143. Dom Rollin (1:03:59)
147. Christian Meier (1:05:58)
164. Svein Tuft (1:16:34)

May 14, 2012

Giro Rush Hour Aftermath

Goss was one of the favorites to crash.

With three hundred meters from the finish, the sprinters drove around the tight left hand bend and red points jersey holder Matt Goss went over his handlebars and hit the deck. Determined also to win the stage, Filippo Pozzato hit him from behind and after the stage apologized...

"It was my fault, I admit that I'm the first to criticize those who risk too much. I knew the bend was dangerous, but when I saw that the road was narrowing I saw Goss in front of me and I was not able to stop. I don't know what he was doing, if he was trying to open a gap for a team mate or just turning like the others. His speed was too high and I hit him. I'm sorry and I apologize. I hope that Goss, who's a friend, and the other riders have no serious injuries. I hurt my side and I can't move one of my wrists, but I don't intend to pull out."

Cavendish was also brought down but is not injured, Goss appeared to suffer a bruise hip as both riders denied a chance at the stage win.

Matt White, DS for Orica GreenEDGE replied,

"It's sprinting. It happens. I want to be really clear that we don't have anything negative to say about anyone else. We're disappointed to see a stage get away from us, and that's it."

After the fall...
Francisco Ventoso triumphs!

Ryder finished in seventh avoiding the crash and stays in pink!

Full Results.

Maglia Rosa: Ryder Hesjedal
Maglia Rossa: Matt Goss
Maglia Azzurra: Miguel Rubaino Chavez
Maglia Bianca: Damiano Caruso

1. Ryder Hesjedal
146. Christian Meier
150. Dominique Rollin
163 Svein Tuft

May 13, 2012

Pozzovivo wins, Hesjedal retains the Pink Jersey

Hesjedal showed plenty of GRINTA today!

After watching the newest threat, Domenico Pozzovivo (Giro del Trentino winner) launch his attack with some 7 kms remaining on top of Cat 2 Colle Molella, the little climber kept up his attack to score his first Giro stage victory. I see him as a major threat when the real mountains arrive in the third week. Pozzovivo says he's looking forward to the monster climb of the Stelvio, I call that  a threat.

Tiny climber, Domineco Pozzovivo attacks on
the Colle Molella!

If he's waiting for the mountains, then Ryder Hesjedal, on his consistent riding, looks to further improve  as the race gets into the all important third week. Hesjedal has solid support from his Garmin troops and  it certainly was a fine example of it in today's stage 8. He finished 11th, retains the pink jersey.

Contender, Joaquim Purito Rodriguez took the sprint for third taking a 8 second bonus and is second overall 9 seconds from Hesjedal.

"That was a tough day. Really happy to hang onto the jersey. The team was incredible again and really showed our strength in the hard beginning of the stage. I just had to follow my closest competitors on the final climb and I was able to do that. Mission accomplished."

Today, on our fun FRFuggitivi ride we talked about Ryder's historic time in pink and Guy asked whether Garmin had a new t-shirt in the offering.

I enthusiastically yelled, how about a "Weight Off The Nation" t-shirt!

Garmin Intensity!

Full Results.

Canadians on GC.

1. Ryder Hesjedal
135. Christian Meier
144. Dom Rollin
161. Svein Tuft

Canadian legend in the works...
Go Ryder!

May 12, 2012

Ryder Hesjedal: An Historical Day

Ryder celebrating in Pink style!
His wonderful expression is exactly how we all feel!
Photo: Alessandro Garofalo

To put it in perspective, Ryder Hesjedal (fondly known as Weight of the Nation) winning the pink jersey today is monumental for Canadian cycling.

Since our first road cycling pioneers of Alex Stieda (First Canadian and North American to wear the yellow jersey in 1986) and Steve Bauer (14 days in the yellow jersey), Hesjedal steps up to be the first Canadian to wear the Maglia Rosa.

In fact, Steve Bauer came so close to wearing the pink jersey in 1987. Bauer Power, as I remember it, came within 0.3 seconds of the pink. He was successful finishing in 10th overall.

Finishing 5th,
soon to become...

The exciting seventh stage was a 202km doozy finishing on top of the Rocca di Cambio. Tiralongo darting around favorite Scarponi to win the stage. Ryder Hesjedal finished fifth, five seconds behind ... to claim the coveted pink jersey. He leads Paolo Tiralongo by 15 seconds and Joaquin Rodriguez by 17 seconds.

He becomes a clear favorite to be chosen by the Canadian Cycling Association for Canada's lone berth in the men's road race and time trial in the 2012 Olympics.

But for now, Hesjedal and his Garmin team will have the challenge to keep the pink jersey as long as possible.

Jacques Landry, high performance director of the Canadian Cycling Association commented, "This is a great result. Having a Canadian wearing the pink jersey is an indicator Canada is getting stronger as a cycling nation. Every cyclist and cycling fan in Canada should be proud of the accomplishment."

Steve Bauer said, "It's awesome, certainly a landmark accomplishment, it shows the progress of our nation. Ryder is without a doubt a leader in the progress, on a large scale. It gives the inspiration to every rider in Canada to do the same, it's long overdue and great to see."

Hesjedal confidently said, "I'm the strongest in the third week. The idea has been to get there and be in good shape."

For us fans, myself included, Ryder Hesjedal is entering legend hood... if not already.

....first Canadian in pink!
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