Friday, July 06, 2012

Ryder down

Longtime readers of this blog may be thinking:  Six days into the Tour de France, and nothing at all about it?

It's just that we were posting bits about Ryder Hesjedal's Tour de France exploits when nobody covered Ryder Hesjedal's Tour de France exploits. And now that the Hesjedal story is all over Canadian sports media, it seemed we had no edge to offer.

Ryder has been having a good Tour, though.  Top ten from the first day, staying safe, sitting in the pack, waiting for the big hills when the "heads of state" come out to play -- and after his Giro d'Italia win, he's now one of them.

Except today, in a nothing stage, a flat run designed for sprinters, he got caught in a horrible crash, got injured, got delayed, ended up limping in with other crash victims more than thirteen minutes behind the leaders.  That's the thing about the Tour:  you have to be good, you have to be tough, but you have to be lucky too.  Today he wasn't, and it's gonna cost him.

Over twenty days, thirteen minutes sounds like nothing? It's a lifetime. He can pick up minutes here and there over some of his overall-contender rivals, but thirteen minutes over every one of them?  They won't be listing him among the contenders unless he performs extraordinary feats and each of his rivals has the kind of ill-luck he had today.

Great while it lasted.  Go, Ryder, whatever comes next.  Win some stages, maybe?  Or the Olympics?

Update, July 7:  And he has not started today. C'est fini pour maintenant.
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