Wow, it really did happen! A Canadian wins a grand tour for the first time ever. Mark Sunday May 27, 2012 down on your calendar and celebrate it every year as the Giro d’Italia comes around. There is now a Canadian name on that beautiful and historic trophy the winner receives at the end of three epic weeks of racing.
I’ve been enjoying the stages leading up to this; seeing the Garmin-Barracuda team doing well in the TTT, seeing Ryder get the first Maglia Rosa ever worn by a Canadian, seeing him attack on the mountain-top finishes, and then DOING IT in Milan! Thanks to social media there are lots of links, photos, tweets, and more to see how significant this victory is. Here are a couple I’ve come across on Twitter that I like:
Ryder Hesjedal has won the 2012 Giro d’Italia – even if he cannot believe it..! http://twitpic.com/9pz290
Ryder Hesjedal is a man whose last name is among the most often mispronounced in sports history. On television, they’ve given up and now say Hesh-DALL.
That’s wrong. Asked by the CBC a couple of years back, he gave us Hesh-JAH-dall, with an emphasis on the second syllable.
It’s not his style, apparently, to correct anyone.
Hesh-JAH-dall (keep practising) began his competitive career as a mountain biker, taking second in the 2003 under-23 world championships.
As I couldn’t be there I did the next best thing. A cool café in Dundas, ON called Domestique-Café Cyclo Sportif was hosting a party to watch the final time trial and the major media outlets found out that Steve Bauer would be there so the big cameras showed up along with the little guys like me. The event took on a life of its own and proprietor Krys Hines postponed some down time to recover from surgery in order to make sure it ran smoothly. By the time Ryder was going to start the place was packed and overflowing out the front and back doors. The cheers and cowbells could probably be heard from blocks away and everyone was glued to the TV.
I wrote a piece on the event for Velonews so I won’t repeat myself. You can read it yourself (“Canada’s cycling greats react to Hesjedal’s historic Giro win“). And if you want to experience a little of it yourself or have a reminder if you were there, PedalMag.com has put up the video I stitched together. It was one party of many that happened across this nation… if you were at any of them be sure to share and spread the word.
The photos that go with the video are here… http://pedalmag.com/?p=160018&c