Hugo Houle became the second Canadian to win a Tour de France stage, getting the first road race victory of his pro career on a hilly, transitional 15th stage before the Tour hits the Pyrenees leading up to Sunday’s ride into Paris.
Houle, 31, crossed the finish line in Foix ahead of France’s Valentin Madouas and Canadian Michael Woods by 70 seconds after nearly four and a half hours of riding.
“This one is for my brother,” Houle, whose brother Pierrick was killed by a drunk driver while running in 2012, said soon after pointing to the sky at the finish. “I had one dream, win a stage for my brother who died, when I turned professional.”
Houle said he originally attacked to set the table for his Israel–Premier Tech teammate Woods.
“I never win a race,” he said. “So, I guess it’s the right place to win my first race.”
The other Canadian to win a Tour stage was Steve Bauer in 1988.
The overall leaders — Jonas Vingegaard, Tadej Pogacar and Geraint Thomas — finished in the same time, 5:54 behind Houle. Frenchman Romain Bardet dropped from fourth to ninth place.
The Tour’s final two mountain stages are summit finishes on Wednesday and Thursday. On Wednesday, the riders will finish at an airport featured in the James Bond movie “Tomorrow Never Dies.”
OlympicTalk is on Apple News. Favorite us!Follow @nbcolympictalk