Ryder Hesjedal made his own history on the Col du Tourmalet today, 100 years after the Tour de France first introduced the pass. His ride through the rain, cold and mist was enough to see him jump up the classification, ready to be the best-placed Canadian since Steve Bauer’s fourth in 1988
in when the race ends on Sunday
.

“It was drama plus,” team Garmin-Transitions’ Hesjedal explained. “I was not surprised with the day, the whole Tour has been tough. I knew it was going to add to the epic day.”

The 174-kilometre sateg, covering four high mountain passes, was the Tour’s first cold and rainy day this year. Hesjedal did not really seem to mind, he stuck with his direct rivals after Alberto Contador and Andy Schleck rode ahead to the win. Hesjedal, though, dropped Levi Leipheimer and Alexandre Vinokourov to jump from 10th to eighth overall.

The only final test that remains is a 52-kilometre time trial on Saturday and a chance for him to finish seventh or sixth overall in Paris on Sunday.

“We came here to win a stage with Tyler Farrar and get a top ten with Christian Vande Velde,” said sports director, Matt White. “We got one of those two even with both of those guys watching the race at home on television.”

The two were forced to abandon after they crashed during stage two to Spa. Hesjedal stepped up, though, and has been the star of the American team at the Tour de France.

White believes more is possible in Saturday’s time trial.

“He can pick off Joaquin Rodriguez for seventh.”

Hesjedal is 9’18″ behind leader Contador and 2’15″ behind Spain’s Rodriguez.

“I feel good and the longer TT will suit me,” Hesjedal continued. “I feel the best I felt in the whole Tour, which is a good signal with the crono coming up.”

Tour de France 2010: Latest news



Armstrong has his last go in the Tour



Tour’s points leader Petacchi investigated for doping



Contador issues video apology to Schleck



Millar searches horizon for Eiffel Tower



Schleck-Contador friendship turns sour after chain problem



Wiggins at 2010 Tour: “I haven’t got it”



Basso wins Tour’s acceptance; podium spot next goal



Contador versus Schleck: A game of seconds



Can Cav win without Renshaw?



Hesjedal pushing his way to the Tour’s top



Renshaw disqualification overshadows Cavendish’s win



Charly Wegelius pulls out of Tour



Did Armstrong own a stake in Tailwind Sports, or not?



Cavendish in a ‘must win’ situation for Tour’s green jersey



Millar rides through pain barrier to make time cut



Roche alongside Tour’s top men ahead of Pyrenees



Wiggins to aim for Tour de France stage win?



Dan Lloyd battles on in Tour despite groin strain

Tour de France 2010: Stage reports



Stage 17: Schleck wins on the Tourmalet but cannot shake off Contador



Rest day review (July 21)



Stage 16: Fedrigo takes tough Pyrenean stage



Stage 15: Victorious Voeckler continues fine Franch Tour as Contador takes yellow jersey



Stage 14: Riblon hangs on in Pyrenees to give France fourth stage win



Stage 13: Vino returns to top of Tour after doping ban



Stage 12: Rodriguez wins as Contador attacks



Stage 11: Cavendish bags third stage win but lead out man kicked out of Tour



Stage 10: Cavendish bags third stage win but his lead-out man is kicked out of race



Stage 10: Paulinho claims narrow stage victory on Bastille day



Stage nine: Casar wins stage as Schleck and Contador go head-to-head



Stage seven: Chavanel wins stage and takes overall as Thomas drops out of Tour’s white



Stage six: Cavendish makes it two as Tour hots up



Stage five: Cavendish wins his first stage of Tour



Stage four: Petacchi wins into Reims



Stage three: Hushovd takes dramatic win; Thomas second on stage and GC



Stage three live coverage: As it happened



Stage two: Comeback man Chavanel takes victory in Spa



Stage one: Petacchi wins in Brussels as bunch left in tatters



Prologue: Cancellara pips Martin to win

Tour de France 2010: Photos



Stage 15 photo gallery



Stage 14 photo gallery



Stage 13 photo gallery



Stage 12 photo gallery



Stage 11 photo gallery



Stage 10 photo gallery



Stage nine photo gallery



Stage eight photo gallery



Tour 2010 wallpaper



Stage seven photo gallery



Stage six photo gallery



Stage five photo gallery



Stage four photo gallery



Stage three photo gallery



Stage two photo gallery



Stage one gallery



Prologue photo gallery

Tour de France 2010: Videos



Stage 16 video highlights



Stage 15 video highlights



Stage 14 video highlights



Stage 13 video highlights



Stage 12 video highlights



Stage 11 video highlights



Stage 10 video highlights



Stage nine video highlights



Stage eight video highlights



Stage seven video highlights



Stage six video highlights



Stage five video highlights



Stage four video highlights



Stage three video highlights



Stage two video highlights



Stage one video highlights



Prologue video highlights

Tour de France 2010: Race guide



Tour de France 2010: Cycling Weekly’s coverage index



Official start list, with race numbers



Brits at the Tour 2010



Tout team guide



Tour jerseys: What they are and what they mean



Brits in the Tours: From Robinson to Wiggins

Tour de France 2010: Pictures



Tour team presentation, Rotterdam



Tour teams take to the cobbles: Photo special