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"Obviously I'm Canadian but I still keep exploring my home country", Ryder Hesjedal told.

Photo: Sirotti










04.09.2015 @ 09:00 Posted by Renaud Breban

With two new summit finishes, Tour of Alberta organizers wished to attract the best climbers. Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale Garmin), Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing) and Adam Yates (Orica GreenEDGE Cycling Team) will try to shine on Canadian roads and winning the overall classification. During the opening press conference, they explained their main objectives.


"This is the first time for me here and it looks like a very interesting race with these two uphill finishes," Mollema said according to Cyclingnews. "I heard from riders last year that this race was flat, windy and a lot of rain and cold, so I was not really motivated when I heard that, but when I saw the new course with the uphill finishes, that made me really happy."


This 2.1 stage race is the first race back since his 7th overall place at the Tour de France. "After the Tour de France I needed a break, so this is my first race in one month. It is always interesting to see where you are. I think there are a lot of strong GC riders here so it will be hard to find the first positions but I'm here and it is a good race to prepare for the World Championships race, and the classics in Quebec and Montreal next week. I'm happy to be here and looking forward to racing."


Ryder Hesjedal is really happy to compete in his country. "It is great to be here. I was sad to not be here for this stretch of racing last year, but the Vuelta went well for me and you have to take those chances and do other races. It was always in the mindset to get back here. It was always the goal to get to the Giro and the Tour, and then be here and race here in September."


He added he does not really know the mountain stages. "Obviously I'm Canadian but I still keep exploring my home country. I've come to Grande Prairie for the first time to race my bike here, and riding through Jasper will definitely be something I can check off the list and I'm looking forward to that also."


Adam Yates, who did a great season with a win at the Classic San Sebastian, is confident about his chance to be at the top of the overall. "We've come here with a strong team, especially for the team time trial, but the mountains are there for me and hopefully I can do a good GC. I won San Sebastian, which was the biggest win in my career, so I'm in the best condition of my life. We'll see, the gravel day [stage 5] is not to my liking but hopefully with the team we have here, they will look after me and put me in the competition." 





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