Derek Gee’s inclusion in Israel-Premier Tech’s 2023 Giro d’Italia team continued a 21st Century Grand Tour tradition. For the past 17 Giros, there has been at least one Canadian on the start line, 11 in total. In ten of those 17 editions, there was a lone Canadian. In two editions there was a quartet of Canucks. Two Canadians have worn the pink leader’s jersey since 2007, and one, Ryder Hesjedal, became the first to win a Grand Tour in 2012.
The current streak of Canadians at the Tour de France is four editions, and the Vuelta a España streak is three.
2007 – Winner, Danilo Di Luca. Canadian: Michael Barry (T-Mobile Team). Michael Barry did a lot of the heavy lifting in the early part of the Canadian streak. This was the time of nine-man teams. Barry raced his second Giro in 2007, the first having been for Discovery Channel in 2005. He didn’t finish this one.
2008 – Winner, Alberto Contador. Canadian: Ryder Hesjedal (Slipstream-Chipotle), 60th place. The master of this list, Hesjedal completed his first Grand Tour in three tries here. He would contest his first Tour de France that year.
2009 – Winner, Denis Menchov. Canadian: Barry (Columbia-HTC). He might have had his worst Grand Tour result in any that he finished, but the Canadian’s Columbia-HTC squad took the opening team time trial, putting Mark Cavendish in pink. Barry was ninth.
2010 – Winner, Ivan Basso. Canadians: Barry (Sky) and Svein Tuft (Garmin-Transitions). Seven of the 13 Grand Tours that Tuft took on were Giros. Coming 125th in this one was his best Grand Tour result.
2011 – Winner, Michele Scarponi. Canadian: Barry (Sky). This Giro is one of the Grand Tour victories Alberto Contador had scrubbed in the fallout of his doping suspension.
2012 – Winner, Ryder Hesjedal. Canadians: Hesjedal (Garmin-Barracuda), Dominic Rollin (FDJ-BigMat), Tuft and Christian Meier (Orica-GreenEdge). Canadians all over the place in this edition, the 2012 Giro culminated in the greatest Canadian road cycling accomplishment of all time. Hesjedal’s battle with Joaquim Rodríguez was fantastic, as the two swapped the pink jersey three times before the Canadian won it in the final day’s time trial in Milan.
2013 – Winner, Vincenzo Nibali. Canadians: Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp), Rollin (FDJ), Meier and Tuft (Orica-GreenEdge). The quartet of Canadians re-forms. Hesjedal did not finish the race. Rollin was…
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