September 08, 2017 – Astana ProTeam is happy to announce a two-year agreement with Canadian rider Hugo Houle, who will join Astana for next two years, 2018 and 2019. “My move to Astana Team is a new, very serious challenge for me. This is a chance to take a new step in my development. Astana is a Kazakh project, but, at the same time it’s a big international team,” said Houle.
“After five years in almost all-French team, I am curious to become a part of an international squad. Astana is known by its great ambitions in the Grand tours and I will be happy to help the team both, in the big races and the classics, which I like so much,” he explained.
Hugo Houle (26), who now is taking part in the Vuelta a España, is a strong rider for the classic races, but also feels good in the Grand tours and stage races, where he provides a good support to the team leaders. Besides, Houle is a good specialist of time trial races – in 2015 he won the individual time trial of the Canadian National Championships as well as the ITT at the Panamerican Games.
Among his best results could be noted 2nd place in the overall classification of the Tour de Beauce (2012, 2016), 3rd place at a stage of the Tour de San Luis (2015), 4th place in the U23 road race of the UCI Road Championships (2012) and 5th place in GC of the Boucle de la Mayenne (2017).
“First of all, we are interested in Hugo as in a rider who could strengthen our team in the spring classic season. Despite his youth, he has a huge experience in the biggest classics, including monuments Milano – Sanremo, Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix. In the same time, we have to remember that Houle is very young and still is looking for his own way in professional cycling. I think, besides supporting our leaders at the classics, Hugo will have a chance to show himself. Today, our team will ride the Grand Prix de Québec and we are really happy to announce our new Canadian rider here in Canada. I am sure, for our partner Argon 18 it will be good news as well,” said general manager Alexandr Vinokurov.