July 05, 2017 – Canada’s Antoine Duchesne who rides for French-based Direct Energie recently learned he needs to find a new team for 2018. The 25-year-old rider is presently home in Quebec recovering from sicknesses suffered earlier in the season; he received a telephone call from team manager Jean-René Bernardeau last week with the news.
Pedal readers will remember that in 2015 the team did not revealed it had a title sponsor for the following season until October. Following such uncertainty, Duchesne reached out to the agent in 2016 and did not let Bernardeau know what he had done.
Duchesne made the cut for the Canadian team at the Rio Olympics 2016 road race and was the top Canuck at the 2015 UCI Road Worlds in Richmond, Virginia, finishing 61st.
On July 4 of this year, Duchesne was supposed to take part in stage 5 of the iconic Mardis Cyclistes criterium series in Montreal, but bowed out. He is still about 7 kilos below his regular body weight according to QMI.
Duchesne is confident to find find another team on the WorldTour circuit in 2018. In the meantime, he expects to race for the Canadian team at the Grands Prix Cyclistes in Quebec City and Montreal in September.
Another Canadian, Ryan Anderson, also rides for Direct Energie and we contacted him but his status remains unconfirmed.
2016 interview with Duchesne about the KOM jersey here.