Wednesday, July 25, 2012

London Calling: Ryder Mania

Ryder Mania...
Media scrum waiting for Ryder Mania at the St. Pancras train station!
From Ryder's Facebook

There's a Ryder Hesjedal maelstrom forming over in London as he the 2012 Giro champion is back and to ride as Canada's only hope in Saturday's road race.

Touch down in London
photo: Jean Levac

I believe he's back in form, having won a post-tour criterium in Roselare, Belgium. Wearing the Maglia Rosa he beat Giro 3rd place Thomas De Gendt & Guillaume Van Keirsbuick.

The excitement goes further. Hesjedal recently auctioned off  his Maglia Rosa jersey and the proceeds went to his own Cycling Society of Canada and the Canadian Athletes Now Fund. The CAN Fund provides financial assistance to training Olympians.

Five grand of the $10.300 generated by the jersey sale went directly to Olympian cyclist, Denise Ramsden. CAN Fund adds an additional $1 grand to a total of $6 grand for the twenty-one year old Ramsden. A great way to grow Canadian cycling is to give back, and that's what Ryder did. The CAN Fund helped mountain biker, Hesjedal compete at the 2004 Athens Olympics. And, with this crucial assistance, Denise Ramsden joins Joelle Numainville and Clara Hughes in Sunday's women's road race.

What about Ryder's chances to succeed on Saturday?

He'll be the lone wolf, the underdog Canuck in a field of 145. Get into a small breakaway and try to keep it all the way to the finish is his goal.

I wouldn't say I'm a favorite. There's definitely a lot of guys that have that billing. I don't really need to be a favorite as a one-man show.

Canadian anticipation for Hesjedal for London glory is on a steady boil. The Weight of the Nation is back...Go Ryder!

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