Hesjedal up for 2012 Canadian Athlete of the Year
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Friday, November 30, 2012

Hesjedal up for 2012 Canadian Athlete of the Year

by Kyle Moore at 8:51 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Garmin-Sharp rider’s third annual Tour de Victoria slated for September

Ryder HesjedalRyder Hesjedal is one of six selections of sportsmen and sportswomen up for the Canadian Athlete of the Year prize, as outlined on the CBC sports website. The Garmin-Sharp rider made history in May as the first Canadian to win the Giro d’Italia, and any Grand Tour.

A previous top ten finisher in the Tour de France, Hesjedal took the next step with a new racing program in 2012, with his primary focus being the early spring Grand Tour. Hesjedal took the pink jersey with reliable early riding, and eventually won over stubborn media members with sterling performances in the mountains, before grabbing the Maglia Rosa for good in the final day’s time trial.

Hesjedal’s performance was elite, uncharted territory for a Canadian cyclist, but will it be enough to be named the country’s athlete of the year in a prosperous twelve month stretch for the North American country?

The cyclist is matched up against Kaillie Humphries, 2012 world champion bobsledder; Christine Sinclair, the top scoring footballer in the London Olympics who led her team to the bronze medal; Rosie MacLennan, Olympic trampoline gold medalist; Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir, 2012 world ice dance champions; Patrick Chan, 2012 world figure skating champion.

The public votes for Canada’s athlete of the year, with results posted in one week, on December 7.

Meanwhile, Hesjedal’s Tour de Victoria powered by GoodLife Fitness has a new date for the ride’s third edition in 2013. The GranFondo cycling event, meant to celebrate the growing sport, will next year be held on September 22. Two years ago, the first edition was held in May, before being moved up to June of this year.

But with the Victoria, British Columbia native increasingly busy in both of those months, ride organizers moved the event to the early fall, which organizers say will give riders more summer training time to prepare, and will also make it easier for Hesjedal to attend.

“September is a great cycling month in Victoria – it’s usually dry and warm,” race director Seamus McGrath stated. “Participating in the Tour in September is a great training season goal to keep you on your bike throughout the summer. Each year we’ve asked our participants and volunteers to provide us with feedback on the tour route and operations and we have received some great feedback. Riders loved the variety of routes in 2012, so we’ll be sticking with the three distances of 140km, 100km and 50km.”

“I am really looking forward to defending my Giro title in Italy in May, and challenging for the yellow jersey at the Tour de France again,” Hesjedal remarked. “I’m excited to be able to join [everyone] in Victoria in September to ride—for me in 2011 it was a big highlight. September is a great time to be out on your bike in Victoria, so I’m excited to see Tour participants get the chance to ride our world-class routes at their best.”


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