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Full gas in Montpellier

Ryder Hesjedal
July 08, 2009, 5:20 BST,
July 08, 2009, 18:20 BST

Hesjedal crucial fifth man in Garmin-Slipstream team time trial

Garmin-Slipstream on its way to second place.

Garmin-Slipstream on its way to second place.

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I'm beat. Man, that was a hard team time trial. We gave it everything today and it was one of the most extraordinary days I've spent on the bike. We were so motivated coming into this stage after missing out on the win at the Giro, but once again we came up a short.

To lose to Astana, however, a team packed with such quality, isn't such a disappointment. We did a great ride and we're really proud that we left everything out on the road today. We couldn't have given it any more.

You may have seen that we were down to five riders at the end: both Davids, Bradley, Christian and myself. My job was to make sure that we got to the finish with five of us there. There’s no doubt that the four strongest guys were really on fire today. From a fan's perspective it must have been enthralling viewing as each team snaked along those thin roads at full gas.

Garmin-Slipstream down to five riders, including Cyclingnews diarist Ryder Hesjedal

In the grand scheme of things we have to take as many positives as we can, though. The Tour is a three-week adventure and we put some time into a few GC threats today that sets Christian up really nicely in the overall. In fact, we have four riders in the top 12, which is encouraging.

It seems like ages since we rolled out of Gerona last week. I'll admit that we all felt like Juniors leaving for our first race - setting off from our homes with just our bikes and our bags, the team was buzzing, morale sky-high. But like I said, this Tour has a long way to go and I'm motivated to help the guys as much as possible.

I'm rooming with David Zabriskie in the Tour this year. We've roomed together countless times; in fact at my first training camp with US Postal in 2004 he was my first roommate. We've never done a three-week race together, though, so even this is a new experience for both of us. I'll update you on how that’s going in my next report.



Ryder Hesjedal

Hailing from British Columbia, Canada, Ryder is competing in his second Tour de France this year. The Garmin-Slipstream rider is a strong domestique and will be working hard as the team hopes to propel Christian Vande Velde and Tyler Farrar to Tour success. Follow Ryder’s exclusive Cyclingnews diary as he battles through the three-week race.

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