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Tour Poitou-Charentes en Nouvelle Aquitaine. Another top 10 for Hugo Houle at stage 2, the day before the ITT

At stage 2 of Tour Poitou-Charentes en Nouvelle Aquitaine, Hugo Houle took seventh as Arnaud Demare won another sprint. Tomorrow morning the riders will ride another stage and in the afternoon, they’ll face the ITT. Demare is still the leader of the race, Hugo Houle climbed to the fifth place overall.

- It was pretty easy in the first part of the race, but the last 30 kilometer we went full power. With the team, we were able to stay together in the final. Sergei Chernestkii and I were in a good position with 500 meters to go, but of course Arnaud Demare was way too fast for us all to follow. But it was good to finish close again, as I’m aiming for the general classification. We were focussed and we were working very well together, so now I hope for a good finish again in tomorrow’s stage and after we will focus on the ITT. I will give my best and I think a top position could be possible, but at the end the legs will do the talking. - Hugo Houle.

Stage 2 started in Segonzac and finished in Melle after 189 kilometers of racing. Straight from the start the break of four riders took off, but the team of race leader Arnaud Demare controlled the race behind the break, resulting in another bunch sprint. In this bunch sprint, Arnaud Demare was by far the strongest sprinter of the pack. Behind him, Hugo Houle sprinted to a seventh place, resulting in a fifth place overall.

- Today it all finished in the expected bunch sprint, won by the best sprinter of the peloton here. We don’t have a sprinter in the team, so for us it was important to stand the heat, as it was 36 degrees today without any wind. The team worked good together in the final, as there was no time loss for Hugo Houle and Sergei Chernetskii. We’re looking forward to tomorrow, as the ITT will be decisive for the general classification. – Lars Michaelsen.

Tomorrow there will be a flat stage of 97.9 kilometer in the morning and a 22.9-kilometer-long ITT, both will finish in the French city of Couhé.


Photo credit: Bettiniphoto

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