Hesjedal stays in Giro lead despite difficult final climb

Ryder Hesjedal remains in pink for a second day running - Garmin-Barracuda’s fourth day leading the Giro 2012 so far - and the Canadian was keen to correct some inaccurate media reports that he had no interest in being in that colour by the time the race reaches Milan.

“I’ve always believed in myself, I want to clarify whatever [previous news] story ended up going out saying I wasn’t here to win the Giro, I was here to try and be in the pink jersey [of leader].”

“I came here to ride my best and give my best effort, and that was the goal so I feel like I’m doing that. Right now, I’m winning the Giro d’Italia so I’m happy with that.”

“I didn’t set any goals for this race, simply to do my best and see where that put me. That’s what I’ve done in the past.”

“People can say you’re capable of this or that depending on past performances and so on, I’m just focussed on doing my best and we’ll see how the race develops.”

Although he didn’t look comfortable on the second category climb, and was all but off the back on one occasion, ultimately Hesjedal clung onto the group of favourites and came through well.

“It was a tough day, the tempo that was set [on the Colle Molella for] three kms at 10 percent, that was tough,” he recognised. He pointed out that a lot of riders more suited to that kind of climb were in trouble on what was “an all-out effort at the end of a grinding day.”

“I just really had to buckle down and keep in contact and defend the jersey and that was it, I was able to get over the top and do that.”

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Alasdair Fotheringham

Alasdair Fotheringham has been reporting on cycling since 1991. He has covered every Tour de France since 1992 bar one, 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. As well as working for Cyclingnews, he has also written for The IndependentThe GuardianProCycling, The Express and Reuters.