Hesjedal to focus on Vuelta a España and miss Tour de France

Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) will skip this year’s Tour de France and focus on a tilt at the general classification at the Vuelta a España in August. The Canadian climber finished ninth in last month’s Giro d’Italia and is currently competing in the Critérium du Dauphiné where he is supporting Andrew Talansky’s title challenge.

Hesjedal will take a break from racing after the Dauphiné and then build up for the Vuelta, where he won a stage in 2009.

“I’ve felt good since coming out of the Giro and I felt like I was on top of things coming out of the race. I’m interested to see how this race goes but after this I’ll take a break,” Hesjedal told Cyclingnews at the Dauphiné.

“No one really does Giro, Dauphiné, and then the Tour. We made that plan a while back and then I’ll focus on the end of the year after a break. I’d like to take a run at the Vuelta. It’s something new and the plan was always to have a traditional two-part season. We made the call to do that and I’m looking forward to it.”

With Garmin set to build a team around Talansky at the Tour de France, Hesjedal will instead ride the Tour of Poland as part of his Vuelta build-up. “I’ll start, probably, with Poland, another race I’ve never done. I like to keep things new and I’ll take a run at that,” he said.

“I’m happy to take the opportunities with this programme. I’ll take the break and then see what I can do in the second half of the year.”

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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.