Is this the day that all of us in the Great White North get to see our first GT winnar? I have read a good number of comments saying that this is uncharted territory for Ryder. I do believe that we have at least one data point that says this is not as uncharted as it may seem. In 2010 there was this little race in France that included a tiny molehill called the Col du Tourmalet. Two amateur climbers by the names of A. Schleck and A Contador has a titanic struggle on the slopes of this Mythic Monster. Schleck missing his brother was unable to put the 30 seconds he needed into Contador. Just a little ways down the mountain however were a couple of notables who relate to our story J-Rod and Hesjedal.
Hesjedal Finished 9 seconds back of J-rod on the day, and remember this was third week of a hard fought Tour. Andy and Alberto are generally viewed as the best climbers in the world. Among this group of second class climbers I feel that this is a significant data point. Hesjedal on the day finished ahead of Kreuziger by :43, Cunegeo 1:29, Gadret 2:08, Basso was over 15 min back. I think the only data that is irrelevant here is Basso.
Basso was overcooked from an Epic Giro that he won. Everyone from that Giro suffered in France. J-Rod was there for a shot at the overall, Hesjedal on the other hand was not. He had not prepared specifically for that race as a GC favourite. I feel quite confident that Ryder is in far superior condition to that which saw him finish seventh at the Tour in 2010.
Yes I believe Hesjedal can win the Giro! Go Canada! Go Ryder!
Full breakdown of Ryder V J-rod on the mountains and in the TT's at the 2010 tour.
Hesjedal v J-Rod @ the 2010 Tour
Stage 7 Station des Rouses
Stage 8 Avoriaz
Hesjedal 14 @ :35
Stage 9 St Jean de Maurienne
Hasjedal 23rd @ 2:46
Stage 12 Mende
Hesjedal 24th @ :53
Stage 14 ax 3 domaines
Hesjedal @ :52
Stage 15 Bagneres de luchon
J-Rod 21st @ :13
Stage 17 Col du Tourmalet
Hesjedal 4th @ :09
In the prolouge J-rod lost 22 seconds in the 52 Km TT J-Rod lost 3:37 seconds.