Hugo Houle 12th in the first stage for Israel-Premier Tech

Hugo Houle began his three-year contract with Israel-Premier Tech by winning 12th place in the five-stage Etoile de Bessèges-Tour du Gard, rated 2.1 in France, his first stage race with the new team. This is Houle’s best overall stage race result since finishing 5th in the 2019 Arctic Race of Norway. National time trial champion Houle finished 12th overall before the final time trial. -Sunday’s 11 km race, where he finished 44th. He was the best Israel-Premier Tech driver on GC.

On January 30, Houle kicked off the Israel-Premier Tech era with a 14th-place finish in the one-day Grand Prix Cycliste de Marseille La Marseillaise.

Houle finished +1:02 behind Sunday’s winner, timed world champion Filippo Ganna (Italy / Ineos Grenadiers). French Cofidis time trial champion Benjamin Thomas defended his overall lead by finishing third at +0:09. Thomas buried himself to stay clear of EF Education-EasyPost’s Alberto Bettiol, who he led by just seven seconds heading into Sunday.

It was a good start to the season for Cofidis as the WorldTour team won two stages via Thomas and Bryan Coquard.

Houle was in the day’s breakaway on Friday, the day Thomas took the stage win and took the lead from Stage 1 winner Mads Pederson at Bellegarde.

Houle’s next race is the Ruta del Sol starting February 16. Teammate and compatriot Michael Woods will make his season debut in the five-stage, 2.Pro-rated race.

2022 Etoile de Bessèges-Tour du Gard Stage 5
1) Filippo Ganna (Italy / Ineos Grenadiers) 15:32
2) Mads Pederson (Denmark/Trek-Segafredo) +0:06
3) Benjamin Thomas (France/Cofidis) +0:09
44) Hugo Houle (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +1:02
75) Raphaël Parisella (Canada/B&B Hotels) +1:25
99) Antoine Duchese (Canada/Groupama-FDJ) +1h42

2022 Star of Bessèges-Tour du Gard GC
1) Benjamin Thomas (France/Cofidis) 14:39:32
2) Alberto Bettiol (Italy/EF Education-EasyPost) +0:16
3) Tobias Halland Johannessen (Norway/Uno-X) +0:32
12) Hugo Houle (Canada/Israel-Premier Tech) +2:41
43) Antoine Duchese (Canada/Groupama-FDJ) +10:33
104) Raphaël Parisella (Canada/B&B Hotels) +26:32