Alasdair Fotheringham – Cycling News. Giro winner returns to Vuelta for first time in five years Five years ago in the Vuelta a España, on the hardest single day of the race – a stage to the remote summit finish of Velefique in eastern Andalusia – Canada’s Ryder Hesjedal battled through strong headwinds to take […]
Ryder was born in Victoria, BC in 1980, not far from the rugged coastal mountains of Vancouver Island, Canada.
A childhood in this natural setting kick started a decade-long mountain bike career (six years of which were Pro) that landed him with Silver medals at the Junior, U-23 and Elite World Championships, along with 4 other World MTB Championship medals including 2 Golds with Canada in the Team relay. In addition to those titles, Ryder won more than 50 races and represented Canada in his first Olympic games - all by the age of 23.
But, all of that mountain biking proved to be just a warm-up; Ryder discovered his true passion in pro road cycling in his mid-twenties. First came a 6th place finish in the 2010 Tour de France, followed by his historical 2012 Giro d’Italia win - a first for a Canadian.
Hesjedal made the full-time switch to road cycling after a few years of riding both road and mountain at the highest level. Currently a member of Garmin-Sharp, he has enjoyed 6+ years as part of Slipstream Sports, the elite organization that runs the team.
Ryder has also won stages at the Vuelta a Espana (2009), Tour de France -TTT (2011), Giro d'Italia-TTT(2008,2012) and Tour Of California (2010). He has been on the podium in World Tour one-day races such as Amstel Gold Race (2nd,2010) and G.P. Montreal (3rd,2010 and 2013).