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Hugo Houle Claims 21st at Olympic Men’s Time Trial in Rio + PHOTOS

by Gaelen Merritt
Hugo Houle at the finish [P]
August 10, 2016 (Rio de Janeiro, Brazil) – Canada’s Hugo Houle delivered a very respectable 21st place performance in the men’s 54.6km  Olympic Time Trial as Fabian Cancellara (Switzerland) claimed gold for a fairy tale-end to his career as he’ll be retiring at the end of this season.

Fabian Cancellara (Sui) [P] Cor Vos

Tom Dumoulin (Ned), managed a silver medal performance despite fracturing his wrist just 2.5 weeks prior, while Tour de France winner Chris Froome (GBR) took the bronze again at his second appearance at the Games.

Tom Dumoulin (Ned) [P] Cor Vos
Chris Froome (Gbr) [P] Cor Vos
Spain’s Jonathan Castroviejo was just robbed of an Olympic medal finishing 4th just four seconds behind Froome. Another favourite, Rohan Dennis (Aus), also put in a strong ride, but a mechanical and subsequent mid-race bike change dropped him down to 5th place.

Nicolas Castroviejo (Esp) [P] Cor Vos

“For me it was a personal best performance,” said Houle. “The result is not as good as I would have liked, I would have like to finish between 10 and 15. But I did my best with what I had, it was as fast as I could go. In a time trial you have to keep pushing, keep pushing.

Hugo Houle gets underway [P] Cor Vos
I tried to enjoy the experience as much as possible, and it was an honour to be here and represent Canada. I know what I have to do for the next four years – to train hard to be with the best. I’m making progress, but I’m not there yet.

Hugo Houle [P] Cor Vos

“It was a really technical course, especially with the rain at the beginning. On the descents I went pretty conservative because I didn’t want to crash. It was a really nice course, but you had to really manage your power and pace yourself. The climbing was hard, especially the really steep part on a time trial bike. It had a bit of everything, so it was a good course for an Olympic time trial.”

Olympic Games 2016 ITT men

This is the second Olympic gold for Spartacus, having won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics and now the 2016 event in Rio. “Olympic champion….. What a crazy day. #gold i am so proud and still without words,” tweeted Cancellara.

Fabian Cancellara (Sui) [P] Cor Vos

Jacques Landry, Director of High Performance for Canada, summed up the Road events at the end of the Men’s Time Trial. “It was always a long shot to do anything in the Road Races; Leah [Kirchmann] didn’t have the legs and Mike Woods is really only in his 20th race of the season because of numerous injuries. So for the road races we weren’t expecting anything.

“On the time trial side of things, I’ll be honest, for Tara [Whitten] I was hoping for a medal. I think she’s capable of it, but she was just beat by some stronger women on the day. She did a really good technical race and dug deep… she’s one of the top time trialists that we’ve ever had.”

Results here.

With files from Cycling Canada.

 





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