Culture

PYSO, ep. 75: Ryder Hesjedal on his rollercoaster Giro d’Italia win

The 2012 Giro d'Italia was a tempestuous affair, with the leader's jersey changing hands several times in the closing stages.

The Giro d’Italia is in full swing, and what a race it’s been. The unpredictable nature of the Italian grand tour this year reminds Bobby and Gus of another remarkable year, where Ryder Hesjedal took and lost and took the pink jersey, finally winning the overall in a nail biter of a final time trial. So we rang up Ryder to hear about that year at the the Giro, and to get some insight into his interesting career in professional cycling.

Ryder got his start in bike racing with mountain biking in his native Canada in the ’90s. By the time he was 15, he was racing the MTB world championships.

A stint with the Rabobank development road team led to a contract with U.S. Postal Service — which he used in part as training for mountain biking en route to the Olympics.

After some trial and error, Ryder found his sweet spot with Jonathan Vaughters’ Slipstream team, where he enjoyed being a driving force in the scrappy upstart squad.

An excellent 2011 year saw him finish seventh overall in the UCI rankings, and with the team’s directive to focus on the Giro for 2012. Here is the story of how he did exactly that.

It’s time to Put Your Socks On.