At 15 minutes and 33 seconds back of the Tour de France lead Ryder Hesjedal assumed the domestique role to near perfection on Wednesday’s stage 11.
Out of the discussion for television commentators and often out of view from the front of the peloton, Hesjedal was a key force in stage 11 in driving the peloton with riders from teams HTC-Highroad and Omega Pharma.
Because of his and other cyclists’s effort an early breakaway group was caught within the final kilometres, setting up a near win for Hesjedal’s Garmin-Cervelo teammate Tyler Farrar.
Farrar was third behind the winner Mark “The Manxman” Cavendish of HTC-Highroad’s André Greipel (Germany) of Omega Pharma.
“Hesjedal is doing an amazing job for his team and it showed with Tyler Farrar getting third place on stage 11,” said local retired Olympic and pro cyclist Seamus McGrath, a former teammate of Hesjedal’s.
Thursday is one of the last of the pure sprinting contests on the tour, a chance for Hesjedal to be a “super-domestique” once again before attacking the hills.
“Tomorrow’s stage is super hard on paper and it will be on the road. Ryder is really good at recovering—that’s a specialty of his and I don’t think it will have any ill effects on his performance tomorrow.”
From the Wheelmen’s report, a daily look at Ryder Hesjedal’s progress and a beginner’s guide to the Tour de France