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Hugo Houle joins Israel Start-up Nation

Jakob Fuglsang also leaves Astana for ISUN

Photo by: Sirotti

Hugo Houle is on the move next year, with the Canadian leaving Astana along with Dane Jakob Fuglsang and joining fellow Canucks Michael Woods, Guillaume Boivin, James Piccoli and Alex Cataford at Israel Start-up Nation in 2022.

In an Israel Start-up Nation press release, Houle said, “I am really excited to join ISUN. I want to thank Sylvan Adams for this opportunity to come home. It’s natural to join him, as he contributed to developing Canadian cycling with the SpiderTech team and support in the World Championships. I’m sure the team will provide me with the best environment to keep progressing as a rider in the coming season and contribute to ISUN’s success.”

After Canadian sponsor Premier Tech announced it was parting ways with Astana, the company was in talks with BikeExchange to come on board as a title sponsor, and Houle and Fuglsang were going to be part of the package. But only a couple of days ago negotiations between the Australian WorldTour team and Premier Tech broke down. Houle and Fuglsang headed to ISUN, both signing on for three seasons.

Houle’s first WorldTour squad was AG2R–he joined from SpiderTech and raced for five years with the French outfit. Houle has spent four years with Astana. This season he rode his third Tour de France with Astana, placing 66th.

Houle in this year’s Tour de France. Photo: Sirotti

After the Tour, Houle had a fine time trial in the Tokyo Olympic Games, powering to 13th.

Houle raced to 13th in the Tokyo Olympic Games chrono.

Houle’s final race for Astana was Paris-Roubaix; his compatriot and teammate-to-be Guillaume Boivin placed ninth in the Hell of the North.