It’s not the Tour de France performance Canadians had hoped for Ryder Hesjedal and Team Garmin-Sharp.
And it certainly isn’t the kind of tour Hesjedal had hoped for.
While Chris Froome’s dominant performance in yellow is testing the tender relationship between the media and riders in terms of doping, Hesjedal has quietly faded from contending to non-contending status.
The Victoria cyclist finished three minutes and seven seconds back of winner Froome on the Stage 15 individual time trial on Wednesday. Perhaps a better finish was expected from Hesjedal, a strong time-trialer and climber, on the 32-kilometre stretch with two mountain climbs of 1.2-km in elevation.
It’s the latest result from a disappointing tour in which Hesjedal has battled a broken rib from a crash on Stage 1 and sits 65th overall through 15 stages, an hour and 32 minutes back of the maillot jaune (yellow jersey).
While there are bright spots for Garmin-Sharp, such as Dan Martin’s stage win (currently 10th overall in the GC) and a strong tour so far from youngster Andrew Talansky, Garmin-Sharp has had far less of a presence than in 2011 when it won the team trophy.
At 32 years of age and with a recent two-year extension, Hesjedal will likely have at least one more, if not two, opportunities to contend at the Tour de France.
Hesjedal will return to Victoria later this summer to participate in the 2013 Tour de Victoria on Sept. 22.