France — The Garmin-Transitions team finished off a memorable Tour de France with a third-place finish by New Zealander Julian Dean in Sunday’s final stage in Paris. Canadian Ryder Hesjedal (pictured) finished safely in the main group, his impressive seventh-place overall placing intact.
Hesjedal’s strong ride in Saturday’s Stage 20 time trial—a tough 52km slog through the wind from Bordeaux to Pauillac—lifted him up from eighth to seventh overall one day before the finish in Paris.
Hesjedal entered the Tour as a domestique for team leader Christian Vande Velde but a Tour-ending crash ended the American’s hopes and forced a change of plans. Hesjedal stepped up and rode aggressively through the Alps and the Pyrénées, climbing up through the standings and breaking into the top-10. His impressive TT performance on the all-new Felt DA was the final confirmation that the Canadian, who turns 30 later this summer, has emerged as one of the world’s top all-around professionals.
“My Tour de France has been phenomenal,” Hesjedal told Cyclingnews.com. “If anyone had said I’d be riding into Paris in the top ten, I would have said that’s a nice idea, but now it’s a reality.”
Hesjedal’s teammate Julian Dean faced a similar situation, assuming the lead responsibility for sprinting after the team lost both Tyler Farrar and Robbie Hunter to injuries. The veteran freelanced just fine on Sunday, putting himself in solid position and sprinting to third on the Champs-Élysées boulevard in Paris.
TOUR DE FRANCE
Stage 20, July 25
1. Mark Cavendish (GB), HTC-Columbia, 2:42:21
2. Alessandro Petacchi (Ita), Lampre-Farnese Vini, same time
3. Julian Dean (NZ), Garmin-Transitions, same time
4. Jurgen Roelandts (Bel), Omega Pharma-Lotto, same time
5. Oscar Freire (Spa), Rabobank, same time
FINAL GENERAL CLASSIFICATION
1. Alberto Contador (Spa), Astana, 91:58:48
2. Andy Schleck (Lux), Saxo Bank, at 0:39
3. Denis Menchov (Rus), Rabobank, at 2:01
4. Samuel Sanchez (Spa), Euskatel-Euskadi, at 3:40
5. Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel), Omega Pharma Lotto, at 6:54
7. Ryder Hesjedal (Can), Garmin-Transitions, at 10:15