“Hello! Ha! When I returned to Montreal, that cowboy cry was still ringing in my ears. It comes from the mouth of a runner who advances at more than 60 km/h in the stretched peloton on the Champs Elysées on Sunday evening.
Posted at 6:00 am
Without knowing how, I found myself in the middle of the famous avenue, a hundred meters from the finish line of the 21st.e and the last stage of the Tour de France, with an impressive view of the Arc de Triomphe.
In this area reserved for a few photographers, I leaned on a half-meter-high plastic edge, to feel the cyclists fall into the false plane descending on the other side of the finish.
A TotalÉnergies broker: was it Mathieu Burgaudeau? – came dangerously close to the fence to get back into the peloton, which had overtaken Antoine Duchesne a little earlier.
I trust the agility of these professionals, but I instinctively gave up. The gust of wind made me shiver, but it wasn’t because it was cold. exciting
This 109e The Tour de France was memorable, and not just because I had the privilege of riding part of it at the time. First during the Grand Département in Denmark, where the crowd turned out in droves long before Jonas Vingegaard’s consecration, and then at the final stage in Paris, where I saw the cyclists jumping on the cobblestones of the Champs-Élysées.
Of course, Hugo Houle made the experience unforgettable. By singing its praises, we end up wondering if patriotism isn’t blinding us a little. Only unranked stage winner, the 31-year-old Quebecer, however, touched everyone.
The cycling podcastthe most listened to British podcast in the sector, made him one of its four finalists for the title of “pedaler of charm”, together with Magnus Cort, Fred Wright and… Vingegaard.
The team on Monday he ranked his victory dedicated to his late brother among his four favourites. “His finger pointing to the sky as he crossed the line, his misty eyes and his powerful words in the following minutes, mixing joy and melancholy, brought a wave of tears from the crowd of supporters present that day,” we could.. . to read.
Louis Garneau, the three French sporting directors, Vincent Lavenu, Marc Madiot and Jean-René Bernaudeau, told him that the representative of Israel-Premier Tech had made them cry. “He made us all cry”, summed up the Olympian and entrepreneur, who came to greet an “idol” whom he “admires”.
On July 19, the day he raised his arms in Foix, his page on Procyclingstats, a reference site, jumped to more than 22,000 queries.
Canada’s stage success, Canada’s second since Steve Bauer’s in 1988, appears to better Italy, who are still searching for a successor to Vincenzo Nibali, and equal France’s total, saved by the audacious triumph of Christophe Laporte at 19e stage.
“Already at SpiderTech [en 2011 et 2012], Hugo was ready to turn pro, Bauer noted. This was not the case for the other young people. »
Pierre Hutsebaut, who coached him for ten years, was amazed at the data collected by his former protégé’s power sensor during the first hour of the race between Carcassonne and Foix.
Evading that day is incredible. I’ve never seen powers like this, ever.
The same impression of the Belgian Vincent Wathelet, television producer of bicycle races who became friends with Houle. He helped him settle in Monaco, as he had done years earlier with former world champion Philippe Gilbert.
“I’ve met a few who have gone on to become world champions, and I can tell you that the parameters he set on the stage he won are the equivalent of the parameters Philippe produced at his best year of 2011,” Wathelet said on Sunday. evening.
His demonstration at the Mur-de-Péguère, “1% steeper than the Mur de Huy” in the Flèche Wallonne, led Wathelet to believe that Houle “can go to Quebec and Montreal” in September.
“When you see it, you say to yourself: that’s it, it’s opened in the head, in the heart. What happened to him is terrible. We had to cry. It’s fine there. »
And it’s good.
An undeniable sign of his newfound notoriety, the Sainte-Perpétue native received invitations to participate in post-Tour criteriums, two in France and one in Amsterdam. “I refused to rest and concentrate on the team’s program,” he explained on Monday, before returning to Monaco. Quite possibly it will be different for the “Criteriums Tour de France” organized by ASO in October in Singapore and Saitama, Japan. These promotional events are reserved for around thirty runners.
The green monster
If Jonas Vingegaard is the winner of the Tour de France, we can legitimately say that his teammate Wout van Aert is the best rider in the world. At ease on all terrains, the Belgian from Jumbo, 22e Overall, he easily won the green jersey for best sprinter and took three stage wins. The second of the three Danish stages, from which he left in the yellow jersey, could have added a success on Sunday, but he preferred to accompany Vingegaard and his other teammates crossing the line on the Champs-Élysées. His performance in Hautacam, where he dropped two-time Tour winner Tadej Pogačar, blew your mind. “Hence the question that arose everywhere: could the Belgian win the Tour? – a legitimate question, but also archaic, referring to the idea that only the Big Loop counts, while van Aert’s genius , until then, it will have been precisely to get rid of it”, wrote Alexandre very correctly. Roos, of The team. Unless the schedule changes, the public in Quebec will be able to admire it for the first time at the Quebec and Montreal GPs.
With this the fastest Tour in history – more than 42 km/h on average – the inevitable question of doping came up in a press conference on Saturday evening. “A matter of shit,” dismissed the black-eyed van Aert, who had just cried after his victory in the Rocamadour time trial. Vingegaard, second in the stage, was more polite, guaranteeing his probity and that of his training. “The suspicions don’t bother me, because I understand that with cycling’s heavy past, how it worked fifteen years ago, we can ask ourselves questions, he confided the next day. The team. But our sport has changed. When it comes to my team, I put my hand in the fire for each of my teammates. We are 100% clean. »