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Hugo Houle’s boost to the yellow jersey

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PHOTO FROM INSTAGRAM ACCOUNT @HUGOHOULE

The finger pointing the sky, Hugo Houle won the 16e stage of the Tour de France 2022.

“I gave him a wink and said: come on, I’m going ahead…”

The cycling peloton is a small society. With its friendships and its rivalries, its leaders and its followers, its alliances and its low blows. It is sometimes the scene of simple disinterested gestures of solidarity. Here is an unnoticed past this summer at the Tour de France.

At the 15e stage, the day before the last day of rest, Jonas Vingegaard fell after a collision in the peloton 58 kilometers from the finish in Carcassonne. A little earlier, the yellow jersey had lost Steven Kruijswijk, one of his main lieutenants in the mountains, victim of a broken collarbone.

On this other torrid day, it was a bit of a panic in the Jumbo-Visma team, already deprived of their comer Primož Roglič, who withdrew before the start, unable to recover from his tumble in the cobblestone stage towards Arenberg .

Obviously, the members of the Dutch formation, less Wout van Aert who was preparing an intermediate sprint, rallied around Vingegaard. The yellow jersey left fairly quickly after a change of bike, hit in the shoulder and left knee.

Towed by his teammate Christophe Laporte, Vingegaard quickly returned to the back of the pack.

“I made a big effort for that, remembered the French rider before the start of the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec on Friday morning. I stayed behind and [Jonas] got back into the peloton on his own. »


PHOTO BAS CZERWINSKI, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE ARCHIVES

Jonas Vingegaard, the yellow jersey of the Tour de France 2022

The Dane absolutely wanted to get back to the front as he approached the last difficulty of the day, about fifty kilometers from the finish.

Halfway through his maneuver in a very stretched peloton, Vingegaard found himself a little ahead of Hugo Houle. The Quebecer from Israel-Premier Tech had stopped earlier to support his teammate Jakob Fuglsang, who suffered a rib injury during the incident involving Kruijswijk.

Houle also wanted to reposition himself before the climb, even if he had no intention of getting involved in the final sprint where he still finished 14etwo days after his spectacular third place in Saint-Étienne.

“I was a bit alone because I had waited for Jakob,” he said in an interview last week. I saw that Vingegaard was alone too. It was going strong, the guys were all on the limit. He had trouble getting back up a bit. He was stressed. Me, I had nothing to do and I wanted to go up. I looked at him, gave him a wink and said, “Come on, I’m going ahead.” »

The yellow jersey took the wheel of Houle to join van Aert in the top positions. Incident closed.

“I do that sometimes to guys I find smattes or who have an important stake”, explained Houle, surprised to learn that his intervention had been reported two days later on Danish television. “Me, I had nothing to play that day. When I go back up, I’m already making the effort. I could see he was a bit confused. I replaced it. He was very happy. »

A story of friendship

Laporte was not aware of the Canadian’s gesture. “It’s a question of affinities, I think, he noted. When something happens to a leader, whether it’s not a physical problem or something else, it’s always nice to get help from a rider who has nothing special to play for that day. If Hugo did that, it’s because he likes Jonas. »

Impression confirmed by the principal concerned.

A guy you don’t like, you don’t do that to him. It costs nothing. You do it when you can. There is a certain respect between us. I have buddies in the peloton. Sometimes we help each other. You develop friendships. We appreciate each other.

Hugo Houle

These free boosts can also be an investment for the future. “At some point, it’s a matter of respect. One day, I’m all alone on a breakaway, he has the jersey, he says to his guys: leave him in front, he’s cool…”

Two days later, Houle did not need this magnanimity during the 16e stage between Carcassonne and Foix. Only his legs, his heart and his racing sense led him to a historic first stage victory for a Quebecer at the Tour de France.

On the sidelines of the podium ceremony, he ran into Vingegaard, who warmly thanked him for his boost.

Source: lapresse

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Cycling

Van der Poel sentenced for “assault”

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PHOTO ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE ARCHIVES

Mathieu van der Poel

(Sydney) He pleaded “guilty” but is free to leave Australia: Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel was sentenced to simple fines on Monday, after his altercation with two teenage girls and his night at the post, at the origin of his abandonment at the Worlds on Sunday.

According to his lawyer Michael Rowe, van der Poel, 27, one of the great figures of the current peloton, was now to leave Australia without delay.

Sunday morning, the information was astonishing in Wollongong, on the starting line of the main event of the world championships, of which the Dutchman was one of the favorites: arrested by the police, the runner had spent a large part of the night at the police station, accused of violence against two teenage girls aged 13 and 14, whose nocturnal noise at his hotel prevented him from sleeping.

If he had been able to start the race, van der Poel had quickly given up, “mentally destroyed”, according to Christoph Roodhooft, a manager of his professional team Alpecin-Fenix.

Can’t wait to leave

The multiple cyclo-cross world champion, winner of numerous road classics, was initially summoned to court in Sutherland, near Sydney, on Tuesday amid rumors that he was unable to leave the territory.

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But Mathieu van der Poel chose to plead guilty on Monday and was immediately sentenced to two fines, of 1,000 dollars and 500 Australian dollars ($1,330), for “assault”, we learned from a judicial source.

According to his lawyer, Michael Rowe, the runner intends to appeal later, but is free to leave Australia. “I have no doubt that he is eager to leave the country after all this,” Ms.e Rowe.

On Sunday, without revealing the identity of the defendant, as usual, the New South Wales police confirmed to AFP that a 27-year-old man had been charged with two cases of “assault”.

“At around 10.40pm on Saturday, a man was involved in a verbal altercation with two teenage girls aged 13 and 14 at a hotel in Brighton-Le-Sands. According to the alleged facts, he pushed the two teenagers, one falling to the ground and the other being thrown against a wall, causing a small scratch on her elbow, ”said the police.

At the start of the race, Mathieu van der Poel did not deny the incident. “Yes it’s true, there was a little argument,” he told reporters.

“I wanted to go to bed early last night (Saturday night, editor’s note) but there were lots of children in the hotel hallway who kept knocking on my door. After a while, I was fed up. I told them, in a not very sympathetic way, to stop. It was then that the police were called and took me away,” he continued.

” A desaster “

Questioned by the press, the manager of Alpecin-Fenix ​​had delivered the same story. Returning to his room “at four in the morning”, Van der Poel had then not slept all night, added Christoph Roodhooft.

“It’s certainly not ideal, it’s even a disaster, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m going to do my best, ”commented the runner, before giving up after about thirty kilometers, then rushing into an SUV without a word.

The news had only filtered late among his opponents, shaking the peloton.

” What ? He said hello to me at the start! “, had launched the double holder of the French title Julian Alaphilippe to his coach, Thomas Voeckler, who informed him during the race of the reason for the abandonment of the Dutchman.

In his absence, it is the main favorite of the event, the Belgian Remco Evenepoel, who became world champion on Sunday.

At the end of the season, will Mathieu van der Poel, twice Dutch road champion (2018, 2020) and stage winner on the 2021 Tour, turn the page on this affair quickly?

By giving up on Sunday, “he feels like he has let his country down. It takes a series of a lot of things to arrive at such circumstances… He will learn the lesson, ”said his lawyer, Mr.e Rowe.

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Sentenced for “assault”, Van der Poel was able to leave Australia

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PHOTO ANNE-CHRISTINE POUJOULAT, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE ARCHIVES

Mathieu van der Poel

(Sydney) He pleaded “guilty”, but was able to leave Australia: Dutch cyclist Mathieu van der Poel was sentenced to simple fines on Monday, after his altercation with two teenage girls and his night at the station, at the origin of his abandonment at the Worlds on Sunday.

According to a press release from the Dutch cycling federation (KNWU), Van der Poel, 27, one of the great figures of the current peloton, was on his way to the Netherlands on Monday evening.

His professional team Alpecin-Fenix ​​told AFP that he should be back “home” on Tuesday, without giving details of the time and place of arrival.

Sunday morning, the information was astonishing in Wollongong (south-eastern Australia), on the starting line of the queen event of the world championships, of which the Dutchman was one of the favorites: arrested by the police , the runner had spent much of the night at the police station, accused of violence against two teenage girls aged 13 and 14, whose nocturnal noise at his hotel prevented him from sleeping.

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If he had been able to start the race, van der Poel had quickly given up, “mentally destroyed”, according to Christoph Roodhooft, a manager of Alpecin-Fenix.

Free to go

The multiple cyclo-cross world champion, winner of numerous road classics, was initially summoned to court in Sutherland, near Sydney, on Tuesday amid rumors that he was unable to leave the territory.

But Mathieu van der Poel chose to plead guilty on Monday and was immediately sentenced to two fines, of 1000 dollars and 500 Australian dollars (1010 euros in total), for “assault”, we learned from a judicial source. .

According to his lawyer, Michael Rowe, the runner intends to appeal later, but was then free to leave Australia.

On Sunday, without revealing the identity of the defendant, as usual, the New South Wales police confirmed to AFP that a 27-year-old man had been charged with two cases of “assault”.

“At around 10.40pm on Saturday, a man was involved in a verbal altercation with two teenage girls aged 13 and 14 at a hotel in Brighton-Le-Sands. According to the alleged facts, he pushed the two teenagers, one falling to the ground and the other being thrown against a wall, causing a small scratch on her elbow, ”said the police.

At the start of the race, Mathieu van der Poel did not deny the incident. “Yes it’s true, there was a little argument,” he told reporters.

“I wanted to go to bed early last night [samedi soir], but there were plenty of kids in the hotel hallway who kept knocking on my door. After a while, I was fed up. I told them, in a not very sympathetic way, to stop. It was then that the police were called and took me away,” he continued.

” A desaster ”

Questioned by the press, the manager of Alpecin-Fenix ​​had delivered the same story. Returning to his room “at four in the morning”, Van der Poel had then not slept all night, added Christoph Roodhooft.

“It’s certainly not ideal, it’s even a disaster, but there’s nothing I can do about it. I’m going to do my best, ”commented the runner, before giving up after about thirty kilometers, then rushing into an SUV without a word.

The news had only filtered late among his opponents, shaking the peloton.

” What ? He said hello to me at the start! “, had launched the double holder of the French title Julian Alaphilippe to his coach, Thomas Voeckler, who informed him during the race of the reason for the abandonment of the Dutchman.

In his absence, it is the main favorite of the event, the Belgian Remco Evenepoel, who became world champion on Sunday.

“Needless to mention that everyone loses here”, regretted Alpecin-Fenix ​​in a press release, specifying that he wanted to have “a clear picture of the course of events” and “a conversation” with the runner before deciding on the “next steps”.

The KNWU deplored in a press release an “unfortunate and disappointing” event.

At the end of the season, will Mathieu van der Poel, twice Dutch road champion (2018, 2020) and stage winner on the 2021 Tour, turn the page on this affair quickly?

By giving up on Sunday, “he feels like he has let his country down. It takes a series of a lot of things to arrive at such circumstances… He will learn the lesson, ”said his lawyer, Mr.e Rowe.

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Source: lapresse

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Remco Evenepoel crowned world champion

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PHOTO WILLIAM WEST, AGENCY FRANCE-PRESSE

Belgian Remco Evenepoel at the finish line of the World Cycling Championships, Sunday in Wollongong, Australia

(Brussels) Still a young cycling hope a few months ago, Belgian Remco Evenepoel moved into a new dimension by winning the world title on Sunday in Wollongong in Australia, continuing an exceptional year 2022.

Barely 22 years old, the one who is often considered the successor of the “cannibal” Eddy Merckx has a 2022 record to make more than one cyclist jealous: Liège-Bastogne-Liège in April, the Classica San Sebastian at the end of July, the Vuelta in September, becoming the first Belgian to win a Grand Tour since 1978 (De Muynck at the Giro), before the Australian coronation on Sunday.

By offering Belgium its first world title for 10 years, “the Phenomenon” continues a dazzling trajectory that began with a bang in its first professional season in 2019, but slowed down by a fall during the Tour of Lombardy 2020, which left it the basin in crumbs in a ravine.

A half-marathon the day after a match

Before becoming cycling world champion on Sunday, Remco Evenepoel forged an exceptional physique and character on football pitches, even if the bike was never far away.

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Until he was 17, the cyclist’s parents, Patrick and Agna, were convinced that their son would become a professional footballer. They have also invested heavily in the future career of their son, who has passed through the training centers of Anderlecht and PSV Eindhoven.

“Remco had a very strong personality. I immediately made him my captain, ”recalls AFP Stéphane Stassin, coach of the U16s in Anderlecht.

An anecdote perfectly sums up the capacities of the young Remco. In October 2016, while participating in the Brussels half-marathon, Stéphane Stassin was surprised to be overtaken by his young player.

“I saw a few Kenyans pass then the young Remco who must have been seventh or eighth. We had played the day before and I had asked the players to rest. But apparently having an entire match in his legs before running a half-marathon didn’t bother him…”

But if the young player has extraordinary athletic abilities, he lacks technique and above all explosiveness. Anderlecht will make him understand before letting him go to Mechelen.

Later, Remco will say that he felt “destroyed” by his heart club.

Perhaps upset, the young Flemish will quickly reorient himself.

The fall in Lombardy

On March 24, 2017, after his day as a plasterer, his father noticed that his bicycle had disappeared from the garage. And for good reason: Remco has gone “for a little walk”. 117 km at an average speed of 34 km/h to the mythical Wall of Geraardsbergen, he tells his father, proudly showing the GPS of his bicycle.

It was on that day that he announced to his parents his desire to pursue a career in cycling.

This environment is not foreign to the teenager: his father was professional for four seasons. As soon as his choice is announced, the father prepares his son’s bike for his first race. He competed in his first event on April 2, 2017 in Flemish Brabant, the day his compatriot Philippe Gilbert won the Tour of Flanders.

Nothing and no one will stop Remco.

Not even a fall that could have cost him his life during the Tour of Lombardy 2020. While he is already nicknamed the “Phenomenon” for having won the Clasica San Sebastian during his first professional season in 2019, Evenepoel performs an impressive cabriole above the parapet of a bridge in the descent of the Mur de Sormano 40 kilometers from the finish.

An end of career is feared. But the young man, who got up with numerous pelvic fractures, will get back on a bike nine months later. Despite abandoning the Giro, he reassures himself in 2021 by winning the Tours of Belgium and Denmark before signing an exceptional year 2022: a monument (Liège-Bastogne-Liège), a Grand Tour (the Vuelta) and the world title. What comfort him in his choice to have abandoned the round ball.

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