Hugo Houle showed off the IPT colors nicely on stage 2 of the Tour de France as he made it into the winning breakaway, ultimately finishing in ninth place on the day.

“I was happy to get in the break today. It’s a good start and hopefully, I can improve throughout the Tour,” Houle said after catching his breath at the finish line.

Knowing that today’s stage would be a good day for the breakaway, it was a real fight to make it into the right group. Krists Neilands tried multiple times, but in the end, it was Houle who managed to get away in a group of 11 riders.

“There was a lot of wind out there today, so we put in a big effort trying to get a good gap. When it went up to nine minutes, I was pretty confident it would go to the end, but they still came close at the end.”

As the riders reached the circuit in Bologna and took on the steep climb to San Luca, the front group started to split up. Houle put in a courageous performance on the challenging ascent, never giving up despite the numerous attacks by the punchy climbers in the group. On the flat part, Houle even made his way back to the group again and went on the attack.

“On the steep part, I was on the limit, struggling on each lap, but I kept fighting my way back. In the end, it was the attack right after my move that went away, but that’s how it goes sometimes. I gave it my best, and I think it’s good to already have a top 10 on day two of the Tour de France.”