Reigning champion Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) wears the maglia rosa ahead of stage 1.

Hesjedal inks deal to race for Trek Factory Racing in 2016; former Giro champion leaves Cannondale-Garmin

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In what is an unexpected move for the rider, Trek Factory Racing have announced that 2012 Giro d’Italia winner Ryder Hesjedal will join the team in 2016.

The transfer brings to an end a long period racing for the Slipstream setup, currently titled Cannondale-Garmin.

The Canadian rider was with that squad since 2008 and took his Giro title there.

Announcing the move, the team said that the Giro d’Italia would once again be a major focus for Hesjedal, who was fifth this year.

“I am very excited about this,” said the 34 year old. “Trek’s management and I are on the same page in terms of what we can achieve together. I know that I still have podium level legs for the Grand Tours.”

Like Dan Martin, who is expected to sign for Etixx – Quick-Step, Hesjedal is exiting Cannondale-Garmin after eight years there. Another rider who joined in 2008, Tom Danielson, is facing a very uncertain future after testing positive this summer.

Hesjedal believes a new start will be beneficial for his career. “I have excellent memories from the past seasons and I have a lot of friends there,” he explained. “But I’m thrilled about this change of air. I believe it’s what I needed.”

“Welcoming a Grand Tour winner makes us feel very proud,” said the Trek Factory Racing general manager Luca Guercilena. “I believe he will be a good fit for our team.

“This is an excellent signing and I have no doubt our fans in North America will be very happy as well. Ryder is a very strong racer and he has a very constant performance.”

The WorldTour squad first disclosed the signing via a series of teaser tweets, replicated below.

Hesjedal started his pro road racing career on a Trek, signing for the US Postal Service team in 2004. He acknowledged that there would be a certain symmetry if he was planning to stop, but said that there are no plans in that direction just yet.

“The truth is I don’t really know how long I’ll still be racing. As far as performance goes, and how I feel, I feel there’s still a lot in there. This year’s Giro was a confirmation of that. But yes, I don’t see myself racing for another five years. One, two or three, we’ll see.”

He said that he will also focus on the Ardennes Classics in 2016, having taken top ten finishes in those three events – including second in the 2010 Amstel Gold Race.

“You basically work backwards with the Giro being the number one goal. The rhythm to get to your best shape in the Giro leads you to those races. I know the routine to get there.”

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