Journalists at the Volta a Catalunya were confused to see that Canada’s Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) was registered on the official results for stage four both as “did not start” - together with teammate Tom Danielson - and also taking 17th place both on the stage finish at Valter and in the overall.
In fact, the Giro 2012 winner, riding his first 2014 race in Europe since completing the Dubai Tour in 91st, remains in the race - and his double appearance on the stage four race results was a simple computer error rather than any kind of ‘Ghost Rider’ doubling up for the Canadian.
“He’s definitely here,” Garmin-Sharp sports director Johnny Weltz told Cyclingnews with a smile - and indeed at that point just as Weltz was talking Hesjedal rode past en route to the signing on at the stage five start - “Tom had to go home with a knee injury after crashing on stage three, he didn’t start stage four, but Ryder is doing fine.”
Reviewing Hesjedal’s condition, Weltz said “He’s getting better every day, he’s been in the action a lot of the time for the last two days and it’s looking good.”
Hesjedal proved these were by no means idle words on Weltz’s part later in the day, making two lone late attacks on stage five to Valls. The first on the second category climb of Lilla effectively lit the fuse for a series of moves by other favourites, and the second, with around a kilometre to go briefly saw the 33-year-old go clear again before the front pack reeled him in.
The Canadian’s program is decided as far as the Tour of the Basque Country and the Ardennes Classics, “but after that as yet it’s not certain. A decision will be taken soon.”
Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 as well as numerous other bike races of all shapes and sizes, ranging from the Olympic Games in 2008 to the now sadly defunct Subida a Urkiola hill climb in Spain. Apart from working for Cyclingnews.com, he is also the cycling correspondent for The Independent and The Independent on Sunday.
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