Today is a historic day for Garmin-Barracuda team managed by Slipstream Sports, LLC, as Ryder Hesjedal won the General Classification of the Giro d’Italia — the first Grand Tour victory for the team started by Jonathan Vaughters.
Update: Read more from Ryder on the Garmin Blog!
Hesjedal also is the first Canadian to win a Grand Tour and did so in dramatic fashion, taking the win on the final stage individual time trial.
“I’m very proud and very honored and humbled by this win,” he said.
“The team was incredible, every guy rode incredible, I am honored by their effort and all we did here. Thank you to my team, my directors, the whole staff and all of our amazing sponsors, and my beautiful family and friends.”
Hesjedal was the second Garmin-Barracuda rider to don the Maglia Rosa this year as Ramunas Navardauskas took the first honor after the team time trial victory in the first week. What was then considered ‘mission accomplished’ for the team became the launching pad for Hesjedal’s march on the General Classification.
Just one stage after the team relinquished the pink jersey, Ryder took it back to become the first Canadian to wear it.
He would hold it for three stages, digging deep to defend it. As the Giro entered the decisive final week in the high mountains, Ryder showed what he could truly do to become the next Giro champion.
Sitting second overall he rode with the other contenders each day and even put in his own attacks, turning the heads of the cycling world. As he did the entire Garmin-Barracuda team surrounded him each day, helping aid his efforts — particularly from Veteran Christian Vande Velde and young up-and-coming rider Peter Stetina.
Everything culminated on Sunday in Milan as Hesjedal was only 31 seconds behind the leader.
The final stage time trial worked in his favor as he took every turn at maximum speed to take the final overall victory by 16 seconds.
Along with the individual win, Garmin-Barracuda also won the Super Team classification — adding to the team’s precept team above all else.
More photos from the Giro d’Italia:
[flickr-gallery mode=”tag” tags=”2012, giro” tag_mode=”all”]