Hugo Houle (Israel PT) won the 16th stage of the Tour de France on Tuesday July 19 in Foix. This is the second Canadian success in history. Dane Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo) kept the leader’s yellow jersey after this Ariège start, at the start of the Pyrenean stages. He gave nothing to his Slovenian rival, outgoing winner Tadej Pogacar, who unsuccessfully attacked him three times.
The main loser of the day is the Frenchman Romain Bardet, who started to let go in the port of Lers, one of the two first category passes on the program. He was definitively distanced in the wall of Péguère, conceded more than three minutes to his rivals and lost his fourth place in the general classification.
To win the stage, Hugo Houle beat Frenchman Valentin Madouas, Canadian Michael Woods and American Matteo Jorgenson by more than a minute. The Quebecer emerged about forty kilometers from the finish, before Péguère. Behind him, Jorgenson, in pursuit, crashed on the descent and lost any chance of coming back.
Hugo Houle, 31, signed the first international success of his professional career which began in 2013. The only Canadian stage victory so far dates back to 1988, when Steve Bauer, now one of the Quebecois’ sporting directors , won at Machecoul (Loire-Atlantique). “This win is for my brother,” he said, crossing the line, pointing to the small cross he wears around his neck in memory of his accidentally deceased brother.
Pogacar attacked Jonas Vingegaard in the port of Lers about fifty kilometers from Foix, twice on the climb, once on the descent. Without managing to outrun the yellow jersey, which kept its 2’22” lead in the standings intact. At the front of the race, the breakaway of 29 riders formed from the first kilometers disintegrated in the port of Lers. Before Hugo Houle takes the lead before the steep slopes of Péguère.