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"It’s pretty clear that being down on GC I was going to chase stages like this one. We still have a lot of good riders in this team so we have to take opportunities as we can. I’m super pleased to get the job done."

Photo: Sirotti






06.09.2014 @ 20:35 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Ryder Hesjedal bounced back from many disappointments when he took a beautiful solo win in stage 14 of the Vuelta a Espana. Having originally targeted the GC, the Canadian had change his focus to stage wins and that approach paid off with a great ride on the brutally steep Camperona climb.


Ryder Hesjedal went into the Vuelta a Espana with lofty GC ambitions but it all came to nothing in the first mountain stage of the race when he lost lots of time. The Canadian changed his focus to stage wins and has been a very aggressive presence in the race ever since.


In stage 7, he got agonizingly close to a win but an unfortunate crash took him out on a day when he had hit the right breakaway. Today he bounced back from his many disappointments by taking a big stage win on the brutally steep Camperona climb in Asturias.


"That was 190 hard kilometers. A really tough day but my legs were good. I had a chance to enter the break. I went on my own in the final and it worked out. Breaks like that sometimes get complicated but I had a good rhythm in the end.


"It was pretty straightforward. Giant-Shimano won the first bonus sprint. They started to control and I just stayed quiet. I put myself in the break soon after that.


"It was a good group. The guys were committed. We had enough of an advantage in the end. I finished it off. I accelerated to see where the other guys were at. Zaugg responded right away but he also had an easy ride today. With his team leading the race, he didn’t have to do any work all day. I was able to get him at the end.


"It’s pretty clear that being down on GC I was going to chase stages like this one. We still have a lot of good riders in this team so we have to take opportunities as we can. I’m super pleased to get the job done.


"I still have a lot of passion for racing at this level. I took my first Grand Tour stage victory in 2009. As it happened in Spain [stage 12 at Alto de Véléfique], I’m glad to repeat it here.


"I’m under contract for next year with this team that will have another name with Cannondale. I’m motivated for another season, then we’ll see where we go from there."


Hesjedal couldn't confirm that he will do the Worlds.


"It’s not something I’ve been thinking about. On my program, there are Italian one-day races and the Tour of Beijing."


Hesjedal had so harsh words for the story about his bike being motorized that has floated around in the last few days.


"I’m voiceless. It’s ridiculous. I don’t how people can say such things [that his wheel kept turning after a crash because his bike was possibly motorized], I don’t know what goes through their mind. I’m just sad. I’m sad that our sport gets tarnished by speculations like that. There are other things I’d like to say but it’s not worth it. I prefer to make the headlines for my win today."



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