On-form Canadian targets Liège-Bastogne-Liège
Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) backed up his second place in Sunday's Amstel Gold Race with tenth place at Flèche Wallonne after battling up the Mur de Huy climb just a few seconds behind Cadel Evans (BMC).
The lanky Canadian knows how to suffer on lung bursting finishing climbs. He was perhaps not perfectly placed for the steep final kilometre but was encouraged by the way he was able to finish right behind Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) and Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne).
Hesjedal was best rider at Garmin-Transitions, with Daniel Martin 18th at 19 seconds and Pete Stetina 48th at 56 seconds.
"I was just behind Andy and Valverde, so it's not that bad," he told Cyclingnews as he tried to recover from his huge effort.
"I didn’t quite feel as good as I did on Sunday. But that's a good sign because it shows I did a big effort there. Now we've got more time to recover for Liège and so I'm pretty excited about my form and about what I can do."
The new route for Flèche Wallonne, with the second climb of the Mur de Huy just 30km from the finish, created a different race. Hesjedal made sure he covered any attacks in the aggressive final 30km, but that may have cost him something for the finish. However, it was also a good indication of his excellent form and what he could do at Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
"I did a lot of attacks. I probably shouldn't have done them but you never know. It was a new race route and I just wanted to see if we could get a smaller group going. I decided to race a little more aggressive today, to test the legs a bit. That's going to help for Sunday too. I'm looking forward to it."
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