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Canadian, Ryder Hesjedal controls Stage 16 of Tour de France

Canadian road racing cyclist, Ryder Hesjedal has had a great day in the Tour de France 2011 – Stage 16.


Ryder Hesjedal is again leading the escape 10. He has forced this race, created the early breakaways – including this successful group of 10 – and has paced it away from the main group – he’s having a great day.”

(from the minute by minute narrative from today’s Stage 16 blog.)

(Click on image to go to source - Team Garmin-Cervelo flickr photo)

Ryder Hesjedal crosses the line in Stage 16

In the end he catapulted his teammate, and sprinting specialist, Thor Hushovd to the Stage victory for Team Garmin-Cervélo, and finished 3rd – 2 seconds back.

Ryder Hesjedal Celebrates a Garmin-Cervélo Stage Win after launching Thor Hushovd to the Finish Line

Ryder Hesjedal Celebrates a Garmin-Cervélo Stage Win after launching Thor Hushovd to the victory ahead of Edvald Boasson Hagen of Sky Pro Cycling.
Photograph by: Stefano Rellandini, Reuters

A Podium finish for the rider from Victoria British Columbia who created all the breakaways from the main group in the first 100 km of the race, and rode aggressively all day, pushing the successful escape he created, 5 kilometres ahead of the main body of racers – a 6:10 lead at one point.

In the final kilometres of the race there was no doubt about who would be on the Podium, as three elite riders on today’s 162.5 km stage battled it out for for step height at the presentation ceremony.

Hesjedal moves up the standings to 28th place overall (from 32nd yesterday), but Hesjedal is still more than 20 minutes behind Tour de France 2011 overall leader, Thomas Voeckler with 5 race stages to go – well out of contention to win overall, or even to better his 7th place finish in Tour de France 2010. With bruised ribs from a fall earlier in ‘LeTour’ – he is too far back now for anyone to reasonably expect a top 10 finish.

Yet never say never – with 3 High Mountain stages, an Individual Time-trial, plus the flat, mainly ceremonial ride through Paris to go – anything is possible.

Hesjjedal is a well rounded cyclist, good at time trials, a good pace setter – essential for long flat rides that require team co-operation – as well as being one of the top mountain climbers of this generation. Anything is possible – but to reach 7th place again he must make up 17 minutes and leap-frog 20 riders. Probably not going to happen, even though he picked up almost 5 minutes today. The race leaders won’t let a break away like happened today, happen again, but I can’t wait to watch him try.

A beautiful stage ride today for Canada’s great Ryder Hesjedal – one of the best road cyclists in the world.


Race Summary from Versus/NBC


Posted: July 19th, 2011
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