Giro d'Italia
2012 Giro champ Ryder Hesjedal joined Vincenzo...

Ryder Hesjedal plans to defend Giro d’Italia crown in 2013 edition

Notes the 2012 champ: "To line up at the Giro with the No. 1 bib, only have so many chances in a lifetime to do that"

MILAN, Italy (VN) — Ryder Hesjedal aims to return to win the Giro d’Italia again next season. He confirmed his intentions on Sunday when he attended the 2013 route presentation in Milan.

“We’ll have a pretty good idea of the schedules in early December, but as of right now, there’s no reason why we don’t try to do the same,” he told VeloNews. “To line up at the Giro with the No. 1 bib, only have so many chances in a lifetime to do that.”

The Canadian from Garmin-Sharp starred in the presentation, first cooking a risotto dish on the stage and then reflecting on the new route.

The race departs in Italy’s south, in Naples; features a 55.5km time trial at the end of the first week; and climbs mountain passes like Galibier and Tre Cime in the third week. Hesjedal had a sneak peak at the parcours and chatted to VeloNews about it before the cooking show/presentation.

“Three weeks is good for me regardless,” he said while taking a snack from a passing waiter. “There can be things that are more suited or less suited. I guess you can say the 2012 Giro suited me well because I won.”

Hesjedal saved his overall standing and positioned himself for the win on the penultimate day up the Passo Stelvio. The next day, he used his time-trialing strength to overtake Joaquím Rodríguez (Katusha) and claim overall victory. The Tre Cime di Lavaredo takes the place of the Stelvio next year and will have the final word, as the last day is a road stage to Brescia that should see the GC remain unchanged.

“The last week looks really difficult, but that’s where I showed and that’s where I won this year’s race. The harder the better, right from day one,” said Hesjedal. “The Giro was difficult with the days in Denmark, which softens the legs up and was good for me heading into the last half. That’s what I’m hoping for, that it can be as hard as can be right from the gun.”

A road stage opens the race, but a team time trial on day two and the long individual time trial to Saltara will favor Hesjedal.

“It depends on what type of course it is, what type of terrain,” he said of the individual test. “There might be guys that are more specialists in the TT than me, but it comes down to your condition at that time. I’ve shown that when I’m in the right condition that I can definitely hold my own in the TT.”

The organizer, according to rumor, added the long time trial in hopes of attracting Bradley Wiggins (Sky). It may have the Tour champion and the Giro champion racing head to head.

“I don’t know if he should go to a three-week race just if he likes one day,” said Hesjedal. “But it’d be great for the race to have as many big riders as possible. That’s what it’s all about.”