For the second day in a row, the Giro d’Italia has a Canadian in the lead. That had never happened in the previous 102-year history of the corsa rosa. Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda) has given the Italian grand tour an international impact.
To lead a three-week race is also something new for the 31-year-old who comes from a mountain biking background. He was seen more as a follower than a leader. That’s why his life is changing these days, as the pink jersey is source of a new status and glory for the climber from British Colombia.
He’s got a true chance to win the event that finishes in Milan on May 27 with a closing individual time trial, something he’s very good at. But at the difference of most of his rivals at the Giro, he knows little – if not nothing – about the big climbs like the Stelvio scheduled on the penultimate day of racing, so he said to Cyclingnews after breakfast in Mercogliano, prior to transferring to the start of stage 9.