Canadian Ryder Hesdejal, like he did in Stage 3, took a lead role in creating and sustaining breakaways though out the beginning of today’s stage 12 of the Tour de France. By using a similar strategy in stage 3, Hesjedal finished 4th, over taken for the Yellow Jersey at the line. But the great ride propelled him into 4th place in the General Classification (GC). With another strong ride in Stage 7, he rose to 3rd in the GC.
Hesjedal started today’s stage 12th in the GC, after falling 9 places as the tour wound it’s way through the Alps since last Saturday.
Today’s relatively flat stage presented an opportunity for Hesjedal to gain back time in the race.
Breakaway attempts came early and often this morning as most teams had the same idea, but it was not until an hour and a half in to this mornings contest that a group sustained a breakaway. Hesjedal was in several of the early tries and this one as well. The successful 18 man breakaway stayed out front for most of the race – at one point sporting a 3:30 lead.
At the 170 km mark, with the Peloton steadily closing the gap on the 18, Hesdejal and another rider fell off the lead group and shortly there-after, caught.
The Peloton caught the remaining 16 breakaway riders minutes later, 6 km from the finish, at the bottom of the last climb, the Category 2, Côte de la Croix-Neuve, a 11.5°, 3.1 km climb.
6:21 PM July 16
..finished high in the standings – none of the other names in the breakaway 18 are near the top of stage 12 finish.
So, my thesis is that Hesjedal is among the greats of this generation of riders, he may yet win a stage, but a couple of questions remain un-answered to this point – in as much as this race provides a very good view of his strengths, and weaknesses.
Are his failings in the mountains (losing 9 places in the GC), a result of his inexperience – or is it a function of the caos that is this years Garmin-Transitions team who have lost 3 of 9 starters to injury (the third, Tyler Farrar dropped out of the Tour this morning).
Is team captain Matt White still waiting for the new lead man to appear? – or is he playing his cards close to his vest?
I suspect Matt White doesn’t share my thesis.
Posted: July 16th, 2010
Author: michael holloway
Filed under: Uncategorized
Tags: 2010 Tour de France | 2 Comments »