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Homecoming today to honour Ryder Hesjedal

Parade to Centennial Square
Ryder Hesjedal celebration starts at 3: 30 p.m. today.

Ryder Hesjedal's eventful summer will be honoured today with a public celebration at Centennial Square.

The Victoria cyclist made history as the first Canadian to win a Grand Tour event when he captured the 2012 Giro d'Italia in June. An infamous crash in July took him out of the Tour de France and cost him his chance for another ground-breaking title. Hesjedal topped off the season by riding as the lone Canadian men's road racer and time trialer in the 2012 London Summer Olympics.

"He's become an international superstar, especially when you look at the reception he got in London at the Olympics [where a media scrum greeted his arrival]," said friend Kim Van Bruggen, who is organizing today's event.

"People are excited and thrilled by what he's managed to achieve. It means so much to him to have that hometown support."

A homecoming parade at 3: 30 p.m. runs from the Marriott hotel up Government Street to Centennial Square. Events at the square are from 3: 50 to 7 p.m.