Ireland’s Dan Martin (Garmin-Sharp) took the fourth stage of the Tour of Beijing with an extraordinary uphill sprint on Monday, but Belgian Philippe Gilbert (BMC Racing) stayed just close enough to keep the overall lead.
Ryder was born in Victoria, BC in 1980, not far from the rugged coastal mountains of Vancouver Island, Canada.
A childhood in this natural setting kick started a decade-long mountain bike career (six years of which were Pro) that landed him with Silver medals at the Junior, U-23 and Elite World Championships, along with 4 other World MTB Championship medals including 2 Golds with Canada in the Team relay. In addition to those titles, Ryder won more than 50 races and represented Canada in his first Olympic games - all by the age of 23.
But, all of that mountain biking proved to be just a warm-up; Ryder discovered his true passion in pro road cycling in his mid-twenties. First came a 6th place finish in the 2010 Tour de France, followed by his historical 2012 Giro d’Italia win - a first for a Canadian.
Hesjedal made the full-time switch to road cycling after a few years of riding both road and mountain at the highest level. Currently a member of Garmin-Sharp, he has enjoyed 6+ years as part of Slipstream Sports, the elite organization that runs the team.
Ryder has also won stages at the Vuelta a Espana (2009), Tour de France -TTT (2011), Giro d'Italia-TTT(2008,2012) and Tour Of California (2010). He has been on the podium in World Tour one-day races such as Amstel Gold Race (2nd,2010) and G.P. Montreal (3rd,2010 and 2013).