With EF-Drapac’s Tour de France team announcement Thursday and Astana’s on Friday, it is now known that there will be no Canadians in the Tour de France for the second consecutive year. The 105th Tour begins on July 7 in Noirmoutier-en-l’Île.
Over nine years in a row from 2008 to 2016, six Canadians–Ryder Hesjedal, Michael Barry, David Veilleux, Svein Tuft, Christian Meier and Antoine Duchesne–raced in the Tour de France. Hesjedal had the best GC with 5th in 2010 and Duchesne was the last Canuck to contest a Tour in 2016.
WorldTour Canadians are Hugo Houle (Astana), Duchesne (Groupama-FDJ), Michael Woods (EF-Drapac) and Tuft (Mitchelton-Scott). Tuft’s retirement at the end of 2018 means there will only be a trio left. New UCI rules dictate that Grand Tour teams can only field eight riders instead of nine as in previous editions.
At May’s Giro d’Italia, there were three Canadians: Woods, Tuft and wild card team Israel Cycling Academy’s Guillaume Boivin.
Canadians can hold out hope that Tuft will end his Grand Tour career with his fourth Vuelta a España start and that Woods will get the chance to match or better his seventh place in the Spanish Grand Tour.