Hesjedal to join Trek Factory Racing for 2016

Former Giro d'Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal leaves Cannondale-Garmin after eight years with the team to join another American outfit.

Trek Factory Racing announced Wednesday that it has signed 2012 Giro d’Italia champion Ryder Hesjedal for the coming season.

“I am very excited about this. Trek’s management and I are on the same page in terms of what we can achieve together. I know that I still have podium-level legs for the grand tours,” Hesjedal said in the team’s press statement.

Hesjedal, 34, will be one of the team’s general classification leaders, notably for the Giro d’Italia. He finished fifth in the latest edition of the race, racing for Cannondale-Garmin — he has been part of the Slipstream Sports outfit since 2008.

“The Ardennes classics will be important as well,” Hesjedal added. He has twice finished top-10 at Liège-Bastogne-Liège and finished second at Amstel Gold Race in 2010. “You basically work backwards with the Giro being the number one goal. The rhythm to get to your best shape in the Giro leads you to those races. I know the routine to get there.”

“This is an excellent signing for our team, and I have no doubt our fans in North America will be very happy as well. Ryder is a very strong racer and he has a very constant performance,” said General Manager Luca Guercilena. “Welcoming a grand tour winner makes us feel very proud. I believe he will be a good fit for our team.”

The Canadian began his career as a professional mountain bike racer before switching to the road in 2002. He admitted to doping in the early years of his career but was not penalized for the wrongdoing.