Ryder Hesjedal became the first Canadian to wear the Giro d’Italia Maglia Rosa today when the team put in an enormous effort to place him on the door step in the uphill finale.
Five argyle jumped to the front of the peloton with less than 40km to go to start chasing down the breakaway before the final climb to the finish line.
There Christian Vande Velde and Peter Stetina rode with Hesjedal near the front of the shrinking main group as the break disintegrated. As the stage winner rode on to victory Hesjedal remained poised and drove in to the finish to take the pink jersey back to the team.
“I’ve been around for a while, just persisting and plugging away, and the team’s been incredible,” Hesjedal about having the race lead.
“It’s the team coming together, we’ve never done anything like this before,” Vande Velde told VeloNews.
The team is doing more than that as Vande Velde himself now sits fourth on the overall, with Stetina right behind him in fifth. As well, Stetina now has the outright lead on the Best Young Rider classification and wears the white jersey!
More photos from the Giro d’Italia: