07/24/2012 12:32 EDT | Updated 09/23/2012 05:12 EDT

Sale of Hesjedal's pink jersey raises funds to help fellow Canadian cyclist

LONDON - Canadian cyclist Denise Ramsden can breathe a little easier thanks to funds raised by a teammate

The sale of Ryder Hesjedal's pink jersey from the Giro d'Italia — the Maglia Rosa — raised $10,300 on an eBay auction, to support Ryders Cycling Society of Canada and CAN Fund.

Ramsden, who make her Olympic debut in London, was selected to receive a portion of the funds.

"I saw that (Hesjedal) was auctioning off his pink jersey and proceeds were going to CAN Fund, even before I knew it was even involving me, and I thought it was great that he was doing that and giving back to Canadian athletes," Ramsden said. "Then when I found out I was the recipient I was very excited and happy. What he's doing is fantastic."

Ramsden will get $6,000, the standard CAN Fund grant amount, while the rest of the cash will go to Ryders Cycling Society of Canada.

Hesjedal won the pink jersey — the first of his career — in Stage 7 of his historic Giro d'Italia victory.

"I am very pleased to be able to give back to the cycling community and in particular support an up-and-coming female rider such as Denise," Hesjedal said in a release. "I want cycling to continue to grow in Canada and I can't think of any better way than to support our young riders achieve their dreams, just as I was able to achieve mine."

Ramsden, from Yellowknife, will compete in the road race and time trial events in London, as part of a women's team that also includes Clara Hughes and Joelle Numainville. Hesjedal is the lone Canadian male road racer in London.

CAN Fund COO Conrad Leinemann praised Hesjedal for taking a leadership role in helping out his fellow athletes.

"As a past recipient of a CAN Fund grant himself, it is always humbling to see our athletes who do so well give back to the athletes who still need assistance to achieve their goals," Leinemann said.