Thirty-one year old cyclist, Ryder Hesjedal became the first Canadian ever to rise to the top of the podium in a Grand Tour event on May 27th. Hesjedal overcame a 31 second deficit on Sunday to win by 16 seconds. He won the 95th Giro d’italia tour of Italy, cycling race in Milan, Italy, 16 seconds ahead of Joaquin Rodriguez.
Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, released a statement saying, “On behalf of all Canadians, I would like to congratulate Ryder Hesjedal for his amazing victory in the Giro d’Italia.
Hesjedal is a familiar last name in the deep south of central Saskatchewan. The Deep South Star was informed cyclist Ryder Hesjedal, from Victoria, BC, has roots near Bengough, SK, in conversation with Wade Hesjedal of Bengough.
Mons Hesjedal (great grandfather to Ryder) homesteaded southeast of Bengough. His son Reuben Hesjedal, was Ryder’s grandfather. He grew up on the Hesjedal homestead. From there the family roots move west to British Columbia.
Hesjedal is a native if Victoria, BC, who makes his off-season home in Maui. He began his competitive career in mountain biking earning 2nd in the 2003 under 23 World Championship.
In the 2010 Tour de France, Ryder emerged on the scenes placing 6th. In 2011, Hesjedal finished 18th overall after suffering an injurious crash in the early stages – he did win a stage in spite of the crash.
In 2012 it all came together. When speaking of his win, Hesjedal said becoming the first Canadian to win one of cycling’s three major stage races was an “unreal experience,” “unbelievable,” and a “dream come true.”