The 2011 Tour de France ended Sunday (July 24) with Victoria’s Ryder Hesjedal 18th overall.
Hesjedal’s Garmin-Cervelo team wins as the fastest team on the Tour. As a result the team’s riders split a reward of $50,000 Euros ($68,000).
The 21st stage featured 2011 winner Cadel Evans sipping champagne in the yellow jersey before the sprinters broke ahead in contest for the green jersey as points leader. That award went to Britain’s Mark Cavendish, whose raw power on the flats is equal to his candor during interviews.
Hesjedal cruised into the historic Champs-Élysées finish-line with the peloton but 140th. He completed the 3,430-kilometres trek in 86 hours, 39 minutes and 36 seconds. His time was 27 minutes, 14 seconds back of Evans and just two seconds back of Garmin-Cervelo teammate Christian Vande Valde (17th).
Hesjedal did all this while managing to crack in the top-20. Late in the Tour Hesjedal came close to stage wins, letting up in the final 50-metres of Hushovd’s stage 16 win, while losing gas on a valiant attempt up the sheer incline that ended stage 18. He was third and tenth in those respective stages.
It was Hesjedal’s fourth complete Tour as only 167 of 198 cyclists completed it this year. David Zabriskie was the only Garmin-Cervelo member forced out of the Tour.
In 2008 and 2009 Hesjedal was 49 and 47, before jumping to seventh overall.