The Giro starts tomorrow and damn if I’m not really excited. Mostly because our hometown hero Ryder Hesjedal is the defending campion, but also because it is a beautiful, gruelling race that will provide me 3 weeks of anxious days ignoring all coverage online so I can watch the stage when I get home from work (after my own rides, of course). Here’s a video from Sky + Rapha featuring Wiggo discussing his own history in cycling, riders he looked up to, and what the Giro means to him: great stuff as always from a key challenger in this year’s edition and a big personality in the sport.
Somehow the name Svain Tuft had managed to not cross my radar until yesterday, when Duncan tipped me off to the Canadian cyclist’s amazing backstory. Born and raised near Langley, Tuft was as rugged a backcountry BC boy as you can get. When he turned 18 he rode 600 km or so in to the interior of the province with his dog sitting on a trailer hitched to his bike (a 10 speed). He’s also ridden alone to Alaska and hitched trains across the country, and didn’t enter the realm of professional cycling until the age of 24, a considerably late age for the sport. Recent accomplishments on the road include a national time trials championship, and a 7th in the men’s individual time trial at the Beijing Olympics. Even though Ryder Hesjedal is the only Canadian currently competing in the Tour De France, look for Tuft to hopefully ride in the next year or two for his team, Garmin-Slipstream. This NYT article paints a much more heroic picture than I ever could, but I gotta give Tuft huge accolades for taking a very different route in to the sport, out of love for the bicycle, the experience, and the speed. Most people I ever knew who were really athletically competitive from a younger age were thoroughly burnt out on the grind involved by about 20, so perhaps the late entry for Svein will work to his advantage. Guys like this make me want to buy a touring bike and go ride 100 km to a lake for the night, which could only be a good thing… you can currently follow Tuft racing the Tour Of Austria.