Must Reads: Hesjedal wins top sports award; Uran wants more in 2013

Hesjedal is named Canadian sportsman of the year while Uran hopes to podium at a grand tour in 2013

Hesjedal Canadian Athlete of Year — The Star

Ryder Hesjedal got his just reward when he was named as the Canadian sportsman of the year for 2012.

Hesjedal won the Lionel Conacher Award, Canada’s top sports prize, named by the Canadian press association. The Garmin-Sharp rider became the first Canadian to win a grand tour when he won the 2012 Giro d’Italia.

“It’s an incredible honor,” Hesjedal said. “For the season to unfold the way it did in the spring and have that perfect run, really, in respect to my training was just right, I didn’t get sick, I had no setbacks. To arrive at the Giro and have it unfold the way it did, I had the opportunity to show myself and that’s what athletes dream of.”

Hesjedal is confirmed to return to the Giro in 2013, but still has some unsettled business with the Tour de France.


Urán wants more in 2013 — El Universal

Rigoberto Urán is motivated for more following his successful 2012 season that included the silver medal in the London Olympic Games.

In a story in the Colombian daily El Universal, Urán said the success of 2012 only breeds confidence moving forward.

“This year was very positive,” he said. “I’ve always said the best years are the ones when you do not have accidents and you can end the season without problems. We reached some important goals and we have to keep working to achieve even more.”

Urán enjoyed a breakout year in 2012, with victory at the Giro di Piemonte as well as a stage at the Volta a Catalunya. He also won the best young rider’s jersey en route to seventh at the Giro and then rode to silver in London.

For 2013, Urán stays with Team Sky and will focus on the Ardennes classics early on. He said he still does not know what his grand-tour schedule will be. In 2011, he raced the Tour de France, but competed in the Giro and Vuelta a España instead this year.

“Sometimes you cannot plan too much because cycling is a high-risk sport, but I will keep working,” he said. “I still do not have a calendar for next year. I don’t know if I will go to the Giro or Tour, but it’s already time to try to reach the podium in a grand tour.”