Canada’s Hugo Houle took the best win of his career on Tuesday, with an emotional victory salute to his late brother, Pierrik. In 2012, his brother went for a run and was killed by a drunk driver. Since the tragic incident, Hugo promised that some day he would win a stage of the Tour de France. Stage 16 would be the race where he finally fulfilled his pledge to Pierrik.
Cycling fans across the world were moved by the touching moment.
The first stage win at the Tour de France, by a Canadian, in more than three decades – congratulations, @HugoHoule! All of us back home couldn’t be prouder of your drive and determination. #TDF2022 https://t.co/pb53JRJEF0
— Justin Trudeau (@JustinTrudeau) July 19, 2022
Houle became only the second Canadian to win a road race at the Tour de France. It has been 34 years since the great Steve Bauer won, back in 1988 where he would finish fourth overall. Houle took the win in the best way possible, a fabulous solo breakaway.
When he crossed the line, the emotional Houle pointed to the sky as a tribute to his brother. Afterwards, in the media scum, he told the world that he won because of Pierrik.
“I could not believe it when I crossed the line. I was just so happy. It was what I have been dreaming of for the past ten years. This one is for my brother,” Houle told the press.
“When I attacked it was basically to set the table for Mike Woods and when I saw that they let me go, Mike made a gap, I just went all in. I went full gas. You never know how it will turn out in the breakaway. Sometimes you need some luck. I mean I was strong and everything went smoothly. I said ‘Ok I am really tired but if I go up the road then it’s easier for Mike’. Nobody wanted to commit and the gap was 40 seconds, then 30 seconds. And then it was just a time trial to the end, all or nothing,” Houle explained.
What a day ! Thanks everyone for your message 😀 https://t.co/X3FydY7sph
— Hugo Houle (@HugoHoule) July 19, 2022
The cycling world was touched by the tribute. News outlets all over the world made mention of Houle’s beautiful dedication. BBC, ABC, NBC, CBC, every broadcaster you can think of covered the emotional victory of the Israel-Premier Tech rider. In tears, Houle would tell them all how special the win was.
“I had one dream: win a stage for my brother who died when I turned professional. Today I won it for him. I worked hard for ten years and today I got the win for him. It’s incredible, I don’t know what to say. I’m just so happy,” Houle said.