Ryder Hesjedal's victory in the Giro d'Italia is quite an historic milestone in Canadian cycling. While compatriot Steve Bauer came close to a Grand Tour podium for Canada with a fourth place finish in the 1988 Tour de France, Hesjedal not only achieved the nation's first Grand Tour podium finish but claimed the first Grand Tour victory.
Four Canadians started the 2012 Giro d'Italia, with Dominique Rollin (FDJ-BigMat) plus Orica-GreenEdge's Christian Meier and Svein Tuft joining Hesjedal amongst the starters. Former professional and fellow Canadian Gord Fraser, now directeur sportif of US-based Continental squad Competitive Cyclist Racing Team, was on hand at the Giro d'Italia monitoring the progress of the Canadian riders in this Olympic Games year.
In this exclusive video for Cyclingnews, filmed prior to the final stage time trial in Milan, Fraser talks about what a Giro d'Italia victory would mean for Canadian cycling. Canada currently has one UCI Pro Continental team, Spidertech powered by C10, and one Continental squad, Ekoi.com-Gaspesien, and Fraser is hopeful that Hesjedal's victory will act as a catalyst for something bigger. Fraser spoke about the foundation that Steve Bauer has laid with the Spidertech team and Fraser hopes that big corporate sponsors may be attracted to the sport, perhaps leading to a Canadian ProTeam.