Posted by Editor on 03/19/08
Ryder Hesjedal Interview
Ryder Hesjedal just finished eighth in the overall standings at Tirreno-Adriatico which, along with Paris-Nice, is one of the premier early season stage races. We had a chance to speak with Ryder for a few minutes today at his European base in Girona, Spain, where he is recovering and preparing for his next races.
CC: First off, congratulations! We were watching day after day, seeing that you were steadily moving up the rankings. You seemed to be getting stronger as the race went on.
RH: Yeah, Tirreno is one of the harder ones, and one of my first main goals for the season, so I was definitely hoping this would happen. It worked out perfectly, and the team supported me really well.
It was a typical Italian [stage] race - pretty steady and hard all day, and then something really hard at the end. On the second day I made the split, which set the stage for the whole race. And then in stage three I was able to stay in contact with the front group.
Stage four I suffered the most, it split up a lot, just a lumpy hard day all round. That was probably my lowest point. After that it just a matter of the time trial (stage 5). I was hoping for a bit better ride (he finished 19th, 1:42 behind Cancellara), but it was enough.
CC: Going into the race, what was the goal - a top-10?
RH: I was definitely shooting for a solid result like a top-10, and if a better time trial then top-5 maybe, that was a goal in the back of my mind. It's frustrating to be a few seconds out (21 seconds), and you start thinking about where you could have taken a few seconds here or there. But, the time trial was consistent enough to keep me in the picture, and it was the first time trial of the year so there are still some bugs to work out.
CC: Two years ago you had a fourth place overall in the Volta a Catalunya. How does this compare?
RH: This is definitely one of the better results I've had. This is a hard race. You've got to be there every day; it's a race decided by seconds in the top-10.
CC: So what's coming up? Milan-San Remo this weekend? The Tour?
RH: Right now I'm not sure, I should know in the next day [about Milan-San Remo]. The schedule is changing day-by-day at this time of year, based on the team's best interests. Since I'm going well, the planning gets more delicate.
As far as the Tour ... We have to get selected first! But the Giro [d'Italia] is pretty much for sure, and if the Giro goes well then I could be back for July.
CC: So what does your schedule look like in building up for the Giro?
RH: There's two options, I think. Either the hard one days, in the Ardennes, with races like Paris-Camenbert and the Fleche / Liege week, or [Tour de] Georgia is an option, and I could do a week long stage race. Like I said, it is more delicate planning now.
CC: So far, this has been a pretty impressive start to the season. What are your feelings about how it is going?
RH: I think I can't ask for much more. The only thing missing is a victory, but they don't come easy. I'm craving that victory over here. Hopefully it will come soon.
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