Any Grand Tour victory is an impressive feat (especially if it’s done clean). Ryder Hesjedal, being the first guy from Canada to win the Giro d’Italia or any Grand Tour, makes it an even bigger milestone. Hell, just finishing a three-week stage race without crashing, getting sick or injured is pretty damn amazing.
Not to mention all the hard work, discipline to follow a training program. Not getting sick or injured in the run up to the race. Having the dedication and support of a staff and teammates who all shared the same belief of what was possible.
But, most notable about this story was the effort made by Hesjedal’s team direction to convince him that he had the potential to win:
“In November last year, the team put me forward to ride the GC at the Giro and it took me a while to digest this new program. But the more I thought about it, the more it seemed like the perfect opportunity…”
Sometimes it takes somebody outside the athlete to see their potential.