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Hugo Houle crowned most combative on Tour de France stage 10 – Astana

Hugo Houle crowned most combative on Tour de France stage 10

Hugo Houle claimed the combativity prize stage 10 of the Tour de France after being at the front for more than 150km in the day’s breakaway.

After a well-deserved rest day, the peloton returned to racing with an almost 200km stage rolling from Albertville to Valence.

Right after the start, Astana – Premier Tech rider Hugo Houle launched an attack and pulled away with another rider to open up a gap of several minutes.

The leading duo worked well together and was able to stay away for more than 150 kilometres before the sprint trains increased the pace to close the gap.

Houle’s aggressive riding was rewarded with the combativity award and the Canadian will wear the red number on stage 11.

“I came to the Tour de France with the goal of winning a stage in honor of my brother. With today´s combativity prize, I think that goal came already a little bit closer, at least I stepped onto the Tour de France podium. As I pulled away I thought maybe some more riders would join, but well, once you are gone, you are gone and then you just push. We got caught quite quickly, with the crosswind at the end of the stage it was easy for the bunch to close the gap, but with two guys there is not much to do against it. However, being at the front of the race, especially at the Tour de France, is something special and to get awarded with the combativity prize was worth it all,” said Houle.

As the race headed towards Valence, the bunch faced crosswinds and with the gap dropping steadily Hugo Houle and his breakaway companion were caught with 40 kilometres to go.

At this point, teammate Omar Fraile took over the lead of the peloton, bringing Alexey Lutsenko and Alex Aranburu into position for a possible reduced bunch sprint.

After almost 200 kilometres, the 10th stage of the Tour de France ended in another bunch sprint, taken by Mark Cavendish.

All Astana – Premier Tech riders crossed the line safely with no changes to the overall ranking.

Race Profile

Tour de France

Stage 10: Albertville > Valence (190.7km)

Top 3: 1. Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck – Quick Step), 2. Wout Van Art (Jumbo Visma), 3. Jasper Philipsen (Alpecin Fenix)

Astana – Premier Tech top 3: 39. Alexey Lutsenko, 121. Alex Aranburu, 123. Hugo Houle

Photo: Getty Images

— Phoebe Haymes to www.astanapremiertech.com

Hugo Houle shows strength in the breakaway on Tour de France longest stage – Astana

Hugo Houle shows strength in the breakaway on Tour de France longest stage

Hugo Houle flew the Astana – Premier Tech flag in the breakaway on the seventh stage of the Tour de France, the longest stage in more than two decades at 249 kilometres, to cross the line in 12th place.

With the first part of the stage being flat, attacks were flying right after the start. In the end 28 riders, including Canadian Hugo Houle, formed the day´s break, building up an ample gap of four minutes on the peloton.

Various teams including UAE Team Emirates were not satisfied seeing some of the GC favourites among the daily breakaway and pulled desperately at the front of the peloton, to keep the gap close.

Approaching the final part of today’s stage, the break fell apart as later stage winner Matej Mohoric and Brent Van Moer attacked out of the breakaway. Behind, Houle showed incredible form riding in the second chasing group, with the yellow jersey.

Mohoric was able to hold his gap, taking a solo win in Le Creusot, while Houle crossed the line in a strong 12th place.

Alexey Lutsenko, who started the day fifth in the General Classification, and teammate Jakob Fuglsang finished in the main bunch five minutes later and now sit in eighth and 17th place overall respectively.

“I gave it all. At the end I was on the limit but I came back a few times. It was really hard from the start and when I looked around and saw the yellow jersey and guys like Van Aert, I thought maybe we wouldn’t go very far but the strength of the group was so good that it meant we could get away. The pace was really high all day, it was really, really impressive. I am really happy that I could get into a good breakaway like this. I was a bit short in power at the end but I am really proud of the way I rode and the fact that I gave everything. That’s how I want to ride the Tour, to keep trying and giving it everything I have,” Houle said.

Race Profile

Tour de France

Stage 7 Vierzon > Le Creusot (249km)

Top 3: 1. Matej Mahoric (Bahrain Victorious), 2. Jasper Stuyven (Trek Segafredo), 3. Magnus Cort (EF Education – Nippo)

Astana – Premier Tech top 3: 12. Hugo Houle, 24. Alexey Lutsenko, 38. Jakob Fuglsang

Photo: Getty Images

— Phoebe Haymes to www.astanapremiertech.com