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Tour de France Preview: Americans to Watch

  • By Jason Sumner
  • Published Jun. 24, 2011
  • Updated Jun. 24, 2011 at 1:00 PM EDT

Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Cervélo)

Hesjedal went on the attack several times at this year's Tour of California, mostly just to test his fitness. His focus was on July. Photo: Casey B. Gibson | www.cbgphoto.com

In each of the last three Tours, a member Jonathan Vaughter’s U.S.-based squad has managed to come up with a surprising GC result. Last year, that honor belonged to Canadian Hesjedal, who finished seventh in a season that also saw the former pro mountain biker win a stage at the Tour of California and finish second at the Amstel Gold Race.

Hesjedal’s best result thus far in 2011 is a ninth at the Tour of the Basque Country, which could mean one of two things: he’s dropped off some from 2010, or he’s better timed his peak and will be even better at this year’s Tour. The hunch here is the latter. Look for the British Columbian to snag a stage win and be in the mix for another top-10 finish.

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