I know few people around here care, and I'm not a nativist or anything, but still, this is big: Ryder Hesjedal has been the leader in the general classification of this year's Giro d'Italia for stages 7 and 8.
He's the first Canadian ever to wear the maglia rosa (the pink overall leader's joursey, the equivalent of the maillot jaune, or yellow jersey, in the Tour de France).
The Giro d'Italia is a multi-stage bike race like the Tour de France. It's second in prestige to the Tour. Many cycling enthusiasts will tell you the Giro is actually more exciting than the Tour because the climbs are tougher, the finishes are often twistier and narrower (i.e. more dangerous) and the weather in May up in the mountains can be crazy.
How's this work? Hesjedal's overall time after 8 stages is 9 seconds quicker than the guy in second place. That's over 32 hours of riding so far. They'll go on to do 21 stages in 23 days. Ever run a marathon? Now do 21 marathons in 23 days. There is no other physical test on earth like it.
If I've piqued your curiousity, have a look at the first few minutes of The Greatest Show on Earth
from 1974 to get a sense of the epic history of this race. And if you can stand the cheesy music, look out for the spectacular scenery at the 4:30 mark. The film actually chronicles Eddy Merckx's last victory in the Giro (Eddy Merckx is the greatest cyclist ever, and is a living legend--naturally, no one on this side of the pond has heard of him).
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By the way, Lance Armstrong won 7 Tours de France in a row. Eddy Merckx won 5 in a row. Armstrong, though, didn't race the Giro or very many other races. He more or less concentrated solely on the Tour. By analogy, imagine a tennis player only playing Wimbledon, but never going to Australia or France. He or she wouldn't rank as highly as someone who won all of the Grand Slams. So, no, Armstrong is not even close to being the greatest cyclist ever. He's probably somewhere in the lower places of the top ten.