Canada's Hesjedal makes cycling history by winning Giro d'Italia
May 27, 2012 -- Updated 1812 GMT (0212 HKT)
Canada's Ryder Hesjedal has finished the Giro d'Italia in the famous Maglia Rosa after a superb performance over three weeks
- Garmin rider Ryder Hesjedal wins Giro d'Italia in Milan
- Hesjedal first Canadian to claim one of cycling's major tours
- He overhauls Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez on final time trial stage
- Marco Pinotti of Italy wins the 28.2 km test against the clock
(CNN) -- Ryder Hesjedal became the first Canadian to win one of cycling's three major tours as he claimed victory in the Giro d'Italia Sunday.
The 31-year-old Garmin rider snatched the pink jersey from Spain's Joaquim Rodriguez on the final time trial stage in Milan, forging a winning margin of just 16 seconds after 21 stages.
Hesjedal had trailed Rodriguez by 31 seconds ahead of the 28.2 km individual test and sixth place behind stage winner Marco Pinotti was enough to seal his narrow win.
The pair had battled through most of the latter stages of the Giro for overall victory with two grueling legs in the Alps ahead of the time trial proving decisive.
Hesjedal kept close enough to Rodriguez to lay the foundations for his triumphant finale as the stronger rider against the clock.
Belgian Thomas De Gendt, who rode so superbly to win Saturday's penultimate stage, was rewarded with third place on the podium, one minute 39 seconds behind the winner.
For home riders it has proved a difficult Giro, with last year's winner Michele Scarponi in fourth and Ivan Basso fifth.
It was the first time since 1995 that no Italian riders had made the final podium.
Small consolation came in the form of Pinotti's commanding final day victory, finishing 39 seconds clear of Britain's Geraint Thomas (Sky) with Jesse Sergent of New Zealand third.
The Giro d'Italia is the first of the three major tours to take place, with the Tour de France starting in July ahead of the Tour of Spain in September.
Part of complete coverage on
April 9, 2013 -- Updated 1628 GMT (0028 HKT)
A six-day run that covers more than 220 km through the scorching heat of the Sahara desert has been billed as the "World's toughest race."
April 10, 2013 -- Updated 1149 GMT (1949 HKT)
He plays the only sport approved by the Taliban, a game he learned as a war refugee in Pakistan.
April 4, 2013 -- Updated 1746 GMT (0146 HKT)
How do you like your sport? Blood, sweat, tears and a nailbiting finish, no doubt. But what about death?
April 5, 2013 -- Updated 0934 GMT (1734 HKT)
Disgraced doper Lance Armstrong's quest to take part in a swimming event in Texas appears to have been sunk before he's even hit the water.
December 18, 2012 -- Updated 1121 GMT (1921 HKT)
New research suggests the use of ice baths to aid recovery after intense exercise is not as beneficial as previously thought.
December 19, 2012 -- Updated 1248 GMT (2048 HKT)
It's not easy carrying the burden of a sports-mad nation's lofty expectations of world-beating dominance on your shoulders.
December 6, 2012 -- Updated 1645 GMT (0045 HKT)
Forty days alone in the wilderness was enough for Jesus, but Lance Armstrong is facing an altogether longer period of solitude.
November 28, 2012 -- Updated 2142 GMT (0542 HKT)
The flip side to this health time bomb is the paradox that more and more amateur athletes are taking on extreme endurance challenges.
November 28, 2012 -- Updated 1937 GMT (0337 HKT)
All Black fly-half Dan Carter talks to CNN's Sophia Heath as New Zealand prepares to take on England at Twickenham.
November 29, 2012 -- Updated 1833 GMT (0233 HKT)
New Zealand's Dan Carter reveals the five fly-halfs that inspired him.
November 24, 2012 -- Updated 1636 GMT (0036 HKT)
Boxing legend Hector "Macho" Camacho has died. CNN's Nick Valencia looks back on his life.
July 31, 2012 -- Updated 1852 GMT (0252 HKT)
You may not be headed to the Olympics, but that doesn't mean you can't join in the fun! Welcome to the CNN iReport sports photo master class.
July 25, 2012 -- Updated 1203 GMT (2003 HKT)
Look over the edge as cliff divers compete in the Red Bull Cliff Diving World Series 2012 in Portugal.
July 19, 2012 -- Updated 2229 GMT (0629 HKT)
The Houston Rockets sign basketball sensation Jeremy Lin after the New York Knicks fail to match their NBA rivals' three-year, $25 million offer.
May 31, 2012 -- Updated 1117 GMT (1917 HKT)
Reza Beluchi has been running all his life, running for freedom, running for peace. He ran away from his homeland, Iran, and has traveled the world.
Today's five most popular stories