Never without his brother

Never without his brother

DAY

Crossing the finish line on Friday, Hugo Houle paid tribute to the memory of his brother who died tragically in December 2012.

The cyclist has often spoken of this tragedy making it clear how badly he wants to get a win in honor of his brother Pierrik. Again on Friday, the tremolo appeared in his voice after coming so close to succeeding.

“I definitely had a thought for my brother when I crossed the line. We were close and we're going back,” he explained.

Pierrik Houle

On December 21, 2012, Pierrik Houle was fatally hit by a drunk driver while he was driving. jogging in the streets of the small municipality of Sainte-Perpétue, in Centre-du-Québec.

On the eve of his first season on the big circuit with the AG2R team, Hugo had just returned from Spain for a few hours. On stage, he held his brother's hand as people attempted resuscitation.

A photo of him

The cyclist, who has a diploma in police techniques, even shouted at the suspect, who returned to the scene of the collision.

The driver, Guy Richard, was charged with fatal hit and run and impaired driving causing death.

On May 27, 2015, the accused received an 11-month prison sentence, in addition to a three-year driving ban, at the Drummondville courthouse. However, the offender obtained his release four months later, in October 2015.

Since that time, Houle has always kept two photos in his suitcase: that of his girlfriend and that of his deceased brother.

A cross

At the neck, in all races, the cyclist also always wears a small cross blessed by the late Father Boulé,- — former director of the Séminaire Saint-François, in Saint-Augustin-de-Desmaures.

As fate would have it, Friday marked the ninth anniversary of the death of the former educator, July 15, 2013. 

“ It is true. It's a great gift,” said the cyclist's mother, Diane Allard.

“Hopefully I can try again by the end. It motivates me. It's my first WorldTour podium and it's at the Tour de France. I'm proud of what I've accomplished and I'm glad it gets people talking! » added Houle, recovering his good confidence.

His teammates and friends in the peloton also congratulated the hero of the day. Before the end of the stage, the other Quebecers knew what was going on.

“We got the information from the radio. With five kilometres to go, I went to see Antoine Duchesne and I won! He was playing the [victory] at three! I had goosebumps all over my body. He deserves it. I have the feeling that his Tour is not over yet,” commented Guillaume Boivin.

“He played his cards well.”  

At Groupama-FDJ, the other caribou was proud of his compatriot.

“ We knew that [Mads] Pedersen was solid, it is a world champion. Just to fight for third place, we were very happy. He played his cards well and he is beaten by two very strong guys. It's a great result. It won't happen 10 times in his career,” also mentioned Antoine Duchesne.