Canadian heads to World Championships confident after Vuelta win
Ryder Hesjedal (Canada) is relaxed and confident ahead of the World Championship road race on Sunday in Mendrisio, Switzerland, thanks to his stage win in the Vuelta a España.
"My goal is simply to have a good day," he told Cyclingnews. "I know that if I have a good ride and things go well I can be near the front. If that happens then you never know."
Hesjedal took his biggest career win a week ago on the Vuelta's stage 12 to Alto de Velefique. It was his first win in two years and puts him in a good state ahead of Sunday's 262 kilometre race.
"The win helps me stay relaxed and comfortable for Worlds. There is no pressure; I am pleased with my season."
Canada will enter the road race with a three-man team: Hesjedal, Michael Barry and Svein Tuft. The International Cycling Union (UCI) confirmed last month the number of riders allowed for each nation based on rankings as of August 15. Ten nations may have the maximum number of nine riders, including favourites Spain and Italy.
"We are a small team, but we are three strong riders who will represent our country well and have a good result. We have to let the big teams control the race and take our chances when they come."
Canada has only once finished on the podium in the World Championships road race. Steve Bauer placed third at the 1984 edition in Barcelona, Spain, behind Belgian Claude Criquielion and Italian Claudio Corti.
Tuft was the first Canadian to finish on the time trial podium last year. He and Christian Meier will be Canada's representatives in the time trial this year.
Hesjedal will end his season after Sunday's race. It will be his third participation in the Worlds road race.
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