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Canada’s Hesjedal and Houle to Race 2015 Giro d’Italia – Cannondale-Garmin, AG2R La Mondiale Announce Rosters

by John Symon

May 07, 2015 – This year’s Giro d’Italia, which runs May 9-June 1, will see two Canadians on the start line: Hugo Houle (Ag2r la Mondiale) and 2012 champion Ryder Hesjedal (Cannondale-Garmin) as announced by their respective teams who released their rosters for the legendary grand tour.

Hesjedal in Milan with the Giro trophy in front of the  ©  Cor Vos

“I’m really motivated with the opportunity that I have to race my first grand tour, with a strong team,” Houle wrote to Pedal.  “I will have a big job to protect my leader Dominico Pozzovivo who finished 5th last year. I’m looking to get as much experience as I can for the future.”

When asked about the big lumberjack (bûcheron) style beard he had recently, Houle responded, “I will be racing the Giro clean and shaven! Now I look like a kid. The bûcheron style was only for the Belgium classics!”

Hugo Houle  ©  Cor Vos

The official Giro website indicates that past winners of the Giro will be on the start line, including Hesjedal, Damiano Cunego (2004), Ivan Basso (2006 & 2010), and Alberto Contador (2008).

“I couldn’t be more excited to start another Giro d’Italia with such a great group of people. The riders and staff know how hard a 3-week race is and I know we are all ready for the challenge, and prepared to continue our strong legacy with the race,” said Hesjedal in a Cannondale-Garmin release (see below).

As reported earlier, Canadian Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEDGE) has been forced to sit out the Giro due to injury (read our coverage here). The winner of the first stage of the 2014 Giro was diagnosed with a fractured wrist and injured sternum following a crash last week on Stage 2 of the Tour de Romandie.

Pedal wishes good luck to the two Canucks in the race and a speedy recovery to Tuft.

Équipe article (French) here.

Official Giro d’Italia website here.


Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling today announced the squad that will take on the 2015 Giro d’Italia. Headlined by 2012 Champion and 2014 9th-place finisher, Ryder Hesjedal, the green argyle team is versitile and features a mixture of youth and experience. Janier Acevado, Nathan Brown and Davide Formolo are competing in their first Giro d’Italia, with Formolo competing in his first ever Grand Tour. Tom Danielson is coming off great performances at Pais Vasco and Volta Catalunya, where he won the Mountains Classification, while TJ Slagter recently posted strong riding in the Ardennes, including 9th place at at Flèche Wallone. The nine-rider squad includes three Italians for the Italian Grand Tour in Formolo, Alan Marangoni and Davide Villella.

Since inception, Slipstream Sports has historically had great success at the Giro d’Italia, topped by Ryder Hesjedal’s overall GC win in 2012. Hesjedal finished 9th overall in last year’s edition. The organization’s first Giro d’Italia win came in 2008 with a victory in the team time trial. A second win in the team time trial came in 2012 Giro d’Italia. Additional stage wins include two sprint victories (2010), one individual time trial win (2011) and a one from a breakaway (2013).

Director Charly Wegelius said: “Ryder Hesjedal, champion of 2012 Giro d’Italia, headlines Cannondale-Garmin’s 2015 Giro team. Ryder approaches the Giro in strong form and knows how to pace himself in grand tours. His vast experience, especially as a Giro winner, will be a precious resource for the team. Racing the Giro with a former winner on the squad is a unique opportunity for our younger riders like Nate Brown, Davide Formolo and Davide Villella and one that I expect them to take full advantage of. We can also count on the strength and experience of well-grounded riders Janier Acevedo, Andre Cardoso, Tom Danielson, Alan Marangoni and TJ Slagter. This is a versatile team with a mix of youth and experience, and we’ll be looking for opportunities throughout the race.”

Ryder Hesjedal added: “I couldn’t be more excited to start another Giro d’Italia with such a great group of people. The riders and staff know how hard a 3-week race is and I know we are all ready for the challenge, and prepared to continue our strong legacy with the race.”


  • ACEVEDO, Janier
  • BROWN, Nathan
  • CARDOSO, Andre
  • FORMOLO, Davide
  • HESJEDAL, Ryder
  • SLAGTER, Tom
  • VILLELLA, Davide

AG2R La Mondiale Announces 2015 Giro d’Italia Roster
Domenico Pozzovivo is AG2R LA MONDIALE Pro Cycling Team’s leader in the Giro. He won two races this season and aim at least at a top 5. We put out an homogenous roster with experienced riders as Rinaldo Nocentini and Matteo Montaguti and younger as Hugo Houle or Axel Domont. We target stage victories. » says Laurent Biondi, sports director with Arturas Kasputis. Biondi presents our riders.

Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita)
32 years old.
Ninth time participating. Best Place : 5th (2014) One stage victory (2012)
“The leader of the team. A very professional rider, totally focused on his job. He is very confident on his form.”

Carlos Betancur (Col)
25 years old
Third time participating. Best place : 5th (2013)
“His form improves every day. He can achieve great stages and target a mountain stage victory.”

Julien Bérard (Fra)
27 years old
Fifth time participating.
“Julien can be counted on. A good spirit and a real fighter. He is important in our strategy in the final of the stages.”

Rinaldo Nocentini (Ita)
37 years old
Eighth time participating.
“An experienced rider with an important role to help Domenico. He proves in the Ardennes Classics (12th in Amstel Gold Race and Flèche Wallonne) that his form is good.”

Matteo Montaguti (Ita)
31 years old.
Fifth time participating.
“An excellent team mate. His experience will be important in the mountain and in the Team Time Trial.”

Axel Domont (Fra)
24 years old.
Second time participating.
“He recovers after his broken collarbone last March. A hard working team mate, able to play his own card in a breakaway.”

Hubert Dupont (Fra)
34 years old.
Eighth time participating.
Best place : 11th (2011).
A courageous, professional team mate. He is important in the life of the group.

Hugo Houle (Can)
24 years old.
First participation.
“The rookie of our roster. He will participate to the first Grand Tour of his career. Since the beginning of the season he shows he had progressed in many fields.”

Patrick Grestch (All)
28 years old.
“He progresses. He achieved a good team time trial in Giro del Trentino. He can be counted on. “

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