A site rarely seen

A site rarely seen

As Giro D’Italia wraps up, Ryder Hesjedal’s exit nothing to worry

Hesjedal returned to his Spanish residence in Girona to recover from what was diagnosed as a respiratory infection from the Giro d'Italia

If Australian Cadel Evans can finish third in the Giro d’Italia at 36, which he did on Sunday, then there’s no need to think Ryder Hesjedal’s career is ending anytime soon.

All due respect to the 2011 Tour de France winner Evans, truly one of the elite road cyclists in the world, who’s mature appearance and chiseled good looks are well weathered enough to make Hesejdal’s 32-year-old appearance look more like 22.

Maybe he’s a baby face. Or maybe there’s a lot of sun, wind and rain to come for Hesjedal, a Belmont secondary grad and the 2012 Giro champion. Hesjedal  now looks at regaining his form for the Tour de France in July.

“It’s heartbreaking,” Hesjedal said in his team’s release when he withdrew prior to Stage 12 of 21 on the Giro.

“I built my entire season around the Giro and I came here feeling great but I have been suffering since (Stage 9).”

Hesjedal returned to his Spanish residence in Girona to recover from what was diagnosed as a respiratory infection, one that affected many in the peloton. The bug also forced the withdraw of Giro favourite Bradley Wiggins, 2012 Tour de France winner, on Stage 13.

Hesjedal is planning to compete in the eight-stage Tour de Suisse, June 8 to 16, in preparation for the Tour de France, June 29 to July 21.

Hesjedal and the Garmin-Sharp medical staff made the decision to pack it in based on his deteriorating physical condition, which linked back to Stage 8. Hesjedal didn’t perform well in the 54.8-kilometre time trial of Stage 8; he finished two minutes, 23 seconds back of the stage winner. He remained sixth overall in the general classification but subsequently dropped out of the top-10 in Stage 9, when he lost two minutes on the lead group which included Evans, Wiggins, and eventual winner Vincenzo Nibali.

Before he finished, Hesjedal helped Garmin-Sharp teammate Ramunas Navardauskas win Stage 11.

“(Hesjedal’s) effort during the time trial and in the cold and wet conditions continued to impact his body’s ability to fight the infection and he ultimately succumbed,” said team physician Phil Stawski. “The only option to prevent the worsening of his condition was to stop racing and allow him to recover.”

“(Hesjedal) was in great condition before the Giro and while it’s a shame that he got so sick, we’re glad he is starting to come around,” said Garmin-Sharp CEO Jonathan Vaughters. “Our team staff will continue to work closely with him to get him healthy again, that’s priority No. 1.”

From the peloton

Good on Sportsnet for airing complete coverage of the 2013 Giro d’Italia, one of three grand tours with the Tour de France and the Vuelta a Espana. The Giro ended with an exciting finish despite the absence of Hesjedal.

Unfortunately the sport’s dirty side returned. Not helping the rebuilding image of cycling was the expulsion of two Giro riders for testing positive to banned substances: Italian Danielo Di Luca for testing positive with EPO and French cyclist Sylvain Georges for Heptaminol.

sports@vicnews.com

Just Posted

Victoria-born, 16-time Grammy winning musician David Foster penned a letter to the Greater Victoria School District May 7 urging them not to cut music programs. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
David Foster joins fight to save music in Greater Victoria School District

‘Music is the great equalizer’ Foster wrote in a letter to the district

‘Nindanikoobijiganag: We are Star People’ by Mississauga Nishnaabe Lucbanin artist Estrella Whetung. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria beadwork exhibit speaks to evolving, enduring nature of Indigenous art

On Beaded Ground features work from West Coast artists and a Cedar Hill Middle School group

Former Victoria HarbourCat and Chicago White Sox player Andrew Vaughn. (Photo courtesy of Chicago White Sox)
Former Victoria HarbourCat hits first MLB home run, adds another two days later

Andrew Vaughn is the first HarbourCat alumni to hit a homer in the majors

A seniors housing complex proposed for Cedar Hill Road in Saanich was supported by council after a public hearing on May 12. (Rendering by Jenson Group Architects)
New 85-unit seniors housing development gets green light from Saanich council

Four-storey rental complex would be located on Cedar Hill Road

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read