Swell second Canadian winner, status quo between Vingegaard and Pogacar

Canada in the spotlight: Hugo Houle won the sixteenth stage in Foix on Tuesday, the second success for his country in the history of the Tour de France, in the Pyrenean start which left the gap avoided between Jonas Vingaard and Tadej Pogacar. Three starts from Pogacar, three immediate reactions from Vingaard. The Slovenian, who had announced his desire to attack at all costs, kept his word. But the Dane held on and maintained his advantage of 2 minutes and 22 seconds.

A bad day for Bardet

The outgoing winner dared to go on the offensive on the first of the two climbs classified 1st category of the day, the port of Lers, about fifty kilometers from the finish. Twice in the climb, once in the descent, to put pressure on Vinegaard. Their rivals, struggling, managed to come back later, more or less easily, like David Gaudu, who managed to make the connection about ten kilometers from the finish to move up three places in the standings. general (fifth).

These racing movements cost dearly, on the other hand, to the other French chance, Romain Bardet, dropped from the port of Lers and definitively outdistanced in the rise of Péguère. To finally concede nearly three and a half minutes to his direct opponents and fall from fourth to ninth place in the hierarchy, the day after the rest day. “I was stuck, completely cooked, I was pitiful to see in Péguère to go up to 5 km / h, declared Bardet after the arrival. I was super feverish, unable to accelerate, headaches, an ordeal .”

“It’s one of the worst days in a while. I didn’t see it coming. Without my teammates present from start to finish, I couldn’t finish the stage. I hope to be able to get back on my feet,” said added English from the DSM team.

First international victory for Houle

For the victory, Houle broke free before Péguère, at the start of the last forty kilometers. The Quebecer, who had not yet won any international success since his professional debut in 2013, rallied as the winner at the finish, more than a minute before the first pursuers (Madouas, Woods and Jorgenson). In tears after the finish, he dedicated his victory to his brother, who died accidentally.

“I have thought about him a lot in recent years, today I win for him,” said the Quebecer from Sainte-Perpétue, showing the small cross he wears around his neck. “When I attacked, it was to prepare the ground for Michael Woods”, explained the winner of the day. “Then I made the gap and Michael said to me, ‘go for it’. The gap stayed at 30 seconds for a long time, it’s tight. When it went to the minute, I said to myself that it’s “It was good. I was careful, I was afraid of falling in the last five kilometres.”

Coincidentally, one of Houle’s sporting directors in Israel Premier Tech is none other than Steve Bauer, the only Canadian stage winner in the Tour. Bauer, teammate of Bernard Hinault and Greg LeMond in his professional debut, won the Machecoul stage in the 1988 Tour and wore the yellow jersey for five days that year.

This hot Pyrenean ename, between Aude and Ariège (178.5 km), had started in a sad way for the AG2R Citroën team, which lost two riders, the French Mikaël Chérel and Aurélien Paret-Peintre, asymptomatic but positive for Covid-19. Vincent Lavenu’s training is now reduced to three riders.


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