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Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Cervelo)
Canadian ready for a break before preparing for the Tour of California
Last year Hesjedal finished twelfth in Liège-Bastogne-Liège after a taking second place at the Amstel Gold Race and ninth at Fleche-Wallonne. This year he struggled to be competitive in the Ardennes Classics after stomach problems wrecked his ride in the Amstel Gold Race and the unusually high pollen count in Belgium caused him further problems.
The Canadian admitted to Cyclingnews that the heat and race distance took its toll during Liège-Bastogne-Liège.
"It was hard. I felt good on the Roche aux Faucons even if it was really hard. But then the lights went out on the Saint-Nicolas. I came off and just had nothing on that last bit," he said.
"It's kind of frustrating but that's bike racing. It's tough. I felt good and think it was more of a fuelling thing, little things that you get right and sometimes you don't. But you can only eat and drink so much out there."
Tour of California
Hesjedal will now head back across the Atlantic to rest up and prepare for the Amgen Tour of California that begins in Lake Tahoe on May 15. He won the final stage of the race in the Agoura Hills last year before going on to finish seventh in the Tour de France.
"I've got a little break, then California and the same programme as last year: Swiss and then the Tour," he said.
I'm going back to Canada first, to Vancouver, then Maui before Cali and then straight to the Tour de Suisse. I've got to get through it in one piece, it's going to be a big effort."