Hesjedal's win is truly thrilling for the people of British Columbia, and, in particular, for his hometown fans in Victoria. With the victory, Hesjedal accomplishes a series of firsts. He becomes the first Canadian ever to win the race and the first to have worn the Giro pink jersey, which he earned in stage 7. The pink jersey is awarded to the rider with the fastest time overall.
He is also the first Canadian to ride to victory in any of the three professional grand tour races consisting of the Tour de France, the Giro d'Italia and the Vuelta a Espana.
Born and raised in Victoria, Hesjedal is a BC Games alumnus whose 2010 Tour de France bicycle was recently inducted into Victoria's Sports Hall of Fame. He has been competing professionally since 2005 and finished sixth in the 2010 Tour de France.
Ida Chong, Minister of Community, Sport and Cultural Development -
"Ryder Hesjedal has made history with his spectacular performance at the Giro d'Italia and will stand as a role model for young athletes for years to come. We are proud to support sports such as cycling through Cycling BC, and I join the people of British Columbia in celebrating this momentous victory. Congratulations, Ryder!"
- The Giro d'Italia has 21 stages and has a total distance of 3,501 km.
- The race began in Herning, Denmark on May 5 and ended in Milan, Italy on May 27.
- Ryder, a BC Games alumnus (1995 BC Summer Games) and former Canadian Sport Pacific Centre registered member, also inspired the Wheelmen Ride Bikes - an initiative that supports young competitive cyclists.
- Along with Victorian Olympian Seamus McGrath, Ryder established the Ryder Hesjedal Tour de Victoria in 2011 - a hugely popular community cycling event.
Ryder Hesjedal: http://ryderhesjedal.ca/
Giro d'Italia: http://www.gazzetta.it/Speciali/Giroditalia/2012/en/
Victoria International Cycling Festival and Ryder Hesjedal Tour de Victoria: http://vicf.ca/
Ministry of Community, Sport and Cultural Development
250 208-4028 (cell)