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.
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