Ryder Hesjedal’s victory in the Giro d’Italia doesn’t have many downsides, but one of them might be his availability for the famed Tour de France.
The Victoria, B.C. native told a phone press conference after his historic win in the season’s first Grand Tour event that making it to the start line in Liege, Belgium on June 30 is not assured.
“I’m not sure,” said Hesjedal, from Milan, Italy on Sunday. “It depends on the planning, and the team’s goals, and the objectives.
“I’ll take a break now, and see how the body reacts. I’ve never been in this position before, so we’ll see where we go from here.”
Hesjedal became the first Canadian to take one of the three Grand Tour races, a trio that includes the famed French tour, starting this year on June 30th, and the Vuelta a Espana, held in August.
If that isn’t enough, he’s also still hot for the lone men’s Canadian entry in the road race at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games at London. That event runs just six days after the Tour de France ends.
It doesn’t deter Hesjedal, who raced in the 2008 Beijing (54th in the road race, 16th in the time trial) and 2004 Athens (did not finish the mountain bike race) games.
“I have said all along that I’d be willing and honoured to represent Canada [at London],” he said.
Jacques Landry, the high performance director for Cycling Canada, told CBC’s Teddy Katz last week that who goes will be a tough decision.
“[Ryder’s] probably, at this point in time, not the best candidate that we have for that, “ he said, pointing to the way the London course sets up better for a sprinter, rather than an all-arounder, as is Hesjedal.
A decision will be made on June 21.