Team Garmin-Transitions’s Ryder Hesjedal spoke with VeloNews’ Andrew Hood after his superb performance at the Amstel Gold race in Holland.
Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) delivered a huge podium achievement with second place on Amstel Gold Race on Sunday.
The Canadian hit the base of the Cauberg in perfect position and simply put his head down and hammered the pedals. When he looked up, he was right at the nose of the action. Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) rode away from everyone, Hesjedal had the best legs of the rest and notched a well-deserved podium finish.
VeloNews caught up with Hesjedal as he reflected on his first major spring classics podium:
VN.com: Tell us about the race — it seems like you didn’t have any problems all day.
Ryder Hesjedal: It was a pretty straightforward Amstel. This is my fifth time doing it, so I know the race pretty well. The selections come pretty rapid there at the end. I had great legs right from the start. The team was backing me the whole way. The team was really great helping me all day, giving me as much chance as possible. When the hard moments came, I was able to be there and followed what needed to be followed to keep myself in it.
VN.com: Were you worried when the late move went or did you think it would come together for the Cauberg?
RH: I had a feeling we were going to hit the bottom of the Cauberg like we did it. There was some strong firepower behind. When you see Gesink chasing, you can get pretty confident that it’s going to come back. I was doing my bits after the Keutenberg. I didn’t go over with the attack, but I was one of the stronger guys over the top there. I was being aggressive and showing that I wanted to stay in the race. It worked out, and we started from the zero at the bottom of the Cauberg.
VN.com: It seems like you were in the middle of the bunch once it hit the Cauberg. Was it difficult to fight through that group?
RH: It’s a long drag and opens up pretty fast. It’s hard to say, Gilbert is pretty classy, so I don’t know if I was in better position if I could have won. That’s kind of a stretch. I remember seeing Gilbert looking back pretty comfortably at one point. That just made me focus on myself. I knew if I did a good ride for myself, it would give me the best chance. It looks like it worked out. I was able to stay strong to the finish.
More photos from the Amstel Gold race: