March 7, 2010

Team Garmin-Transitions’ Ryder Hesjedal has turned into our man for the increasingly revered Montepaschi Strade Bianche race, over the white marble roads around Siena, Italy. After two top ten placings the last two years he delivered another solid performance, making it into the final selection and finishing fifth.

Well, my goal was to better a pair of 10th places after aggressive rides in 2008 and 2009 worked out. I was able to deliver a top five in what was a hard day on the famous white gravel roads of Tuscany. The team was great and besides Tyler’s crash we made it through the more-than-sketchy-at-times conditions and are ready to tackle next week’s Tirreno-Adriatico! For me I am pleased with my ride as I was part of the lead heading into the last kilometer after a lot of heavy hitting by numerous heavy hitters!

I was able to keep myself in it with a chance at victory right down to the last brutal wall leading into the beautiful Piazza del Campo in the ancient city of Siena. I was not able to follow the three leaders after my efforts to get to that point and reduced to my own speed. I came into the finish just behind the colors of the Italian National Champion and was relieved to have survived another Eroica. It was a little  bittersweet in the end as I was dreaming of victory and to be so close is hard to swallow. It keeps you hungry though!

More photos of Ryder:
[flickr-gallery mode=”tag” tags=”hesjedal” tag_mode=”all”]