Can Ryder Hesjedal make Canadian cycling history and win the Giro is the big question Grand Tour followers are asking themselves coming into the final three days of this year’s event. The Canadian diesel sits just 30 seconds adrift of the Maglia Rosa of Spain's diminutive climber Joaquim Rodriguez, and with the final stage in Milan being an individual time trial of some 30km the Garmin professional has reason to be optimistic with the race against the clock being his favoured discipline.
But standing in his way are two of the most feared mountainous stages of the race and with Rodriguez sporting a 12kg weight advantage when the road turns up the Katusha climber will be looking to add as many seconds as possible to his slim advantage.
Pushing the duo all the way to Milan and still not out of contention for overall honours is winner of multiple Giri Ivan Basso and Last year’s belated awarded winner Michele Scarponi, sitting at just 1.22 and 1.36 respectively. The liquigas and Lampre teams are committed to their Italian leaders and prepared to set a furious pace to the uphill finishes at Alpe di Pampeago and Passo Stelvio.
Asked whom he feared most of stripping him of the leaders Pink jersey Rodriguez was certain in who he would be watching closely, “I wish I had more time over Hesjedal, it would give me more possibilities to defend the pink jersey”, the Catalan commented. “I’m hoping for Hesjedal to have a bad day in the mountains. He’s 70kg, Basso is 67. Hesjedal is very lean. I don’t foresee him getting dropped uphill. He won’t lose two minutes. Either he’ll stay with us or he’ll lose a lot.”