Skip to main content

Canada's Hesjedal makes cycling history by winning Giro d'Italia

updated 2:12 PM EDT, Sun May 27, 2012
Canada's Ryder Hesjedal has finished the Giro d'Italia in the famous Maglia Rosa after a superb performance over three weeks
Canada's Ryder Hesjedal has finished the Giro d'Italia in the famous Maglia Rosa after a superb performance over three weeks
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Garmin rider Ryder Hesjedal wins Giro d'Italia in Milan
  • Hesjedal first Canadian to claim one of cycling's major tours
  • He overhauls Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez on final time trial stage
  • Marco Pinotti of Italy wins the 28.2 km test against the clock

(CNN) -- Ryder Hesjedal became the first Canadian to win one of cycling's three major tours as he claimed victory in the Giro d'Italia Sunday.

The 31-year-old Garmin rider snatched the pink jersey from Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez on the final time trial stage in Milan, forging a winning margin of just 16 seconds after 21 stages.

Hesjedal had trailed Rodriguez by 31 seconds ahead of the 28.2 km individual test and sixth place behind stage winner Marco Pinotti was enough to seal his narrow win.

The pair had battled through most of the latter stages of the Giro for overall victory with two grueling legs in the Alps ahead of the time trial proving decisive.

Hesjedal kept close enough to Rodriguez to lay the foundations for his triumphant finale as the stronger rider against the clock.

Belgian Thomas De Gendt, who rode so superbly to win Saturday's penultimate stage, was rewarded with third place on the podium, one minute 39 seconds behind the winner.

For home riders it has proved a difficult Giro, with last year's winner Michele Scarponi in fourth and Ivan Basso fifth.

It was the first time since 1995 that no Italian riders had made the final podium.

Small consolation came in the form of Pinotti's commanding final day victory, finishing 39 seconds clear of Britain's Geraint Thomas (Sky) with Jesse Sergent of New Zealand third.

The Giro d'Italia is the first of the three major tours to take place, with the Tour de France starting in July ahead of the Tour of Spain in September.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
From spectacular action at the Commonwealth Games , to high-speed drama on the race track, here are the week's best sporting images.
updated 12:06 PM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Whisper it quietly, but after years of foreign domination the prospect of a French winner of the Tour de France is more than just a mere pipe dream.
updated 9:21 AM EDT, Mon July 28, 2014
Seven years ago Steve Way was a 20 per day smoker and weighed a hefty 104 kg, but he led the marathon at the 2014 Commonwealth Games.
updated 9:17 AM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
After just one day of competition, a new sport has emerged at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow: snapping selfies with the Queen.
updated 4:48 PM EDT, Fri July 25, 2014
Inspirational cyclist Joanna Rowsell added another gold to her growing collection in the individual pursuit at the Commonwealth Games.
updated 12:04 AM EDT, Thu July 24, 2014
At the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, an actor upstaged the Queen by kissing a male dancer.
updated 8:00 AM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Of course not. But former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed seems to think the removal of Michael Jackson's statue was a very "bad" idea.
updated 12:36 PM EDT, Wed May 7, 2014
Second-tier French side Clermont Foot appoint Helena Costa -- the country's first ever professional female coach of a male team.
updated 1:33 PM EDT, Fri April 25, 2014
The All Blacks and their fans are focused on one thing, says Dan Carter: becoming the first rugby nation to win back-to-back World Cups.
updated 9:08 AM EDT, Fri April 4, 2014
The 2002 bomb attacks in Bali had many victims -- including a touring rugby team from Hong Kong.
Photographer Danny Lyon spent three days with Muhammad Ali in 1972 and shares his best photos and memories of the champ.
updated 7:54 AM EST, Tue February 25, 2014
With a growing audience boosted by the drama of ice hockey on show in Sochi at the Winter Olympics, can the sport capitalize on its popularity?
updated 6:25 AM EST, Mon January 20, 2014
Her paintings may sell for thousands of dollars, but she is best known for a modeling shot 50 years ago that helped launch a business empire.
ADVERTISEMENT