2022 Tour de France

Introducing The Four Canadians And Their Jobs In The 2022 Tour De France

Introducing The Four Canadians And Their Jobs In The 2022 Tour De France

The 2022 Tour de France has a record four Canadians in the peloton. Get to know them and the different roles they will play this July.

Jul 7, 2022 by Michael Sheehan
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The Tour de France is the pinnacle of professional road cycling and a sport that is, at its core, a very European affair. For a rider to infiltrate cycling's elite ranks from nations outside Europe represents years of hard work, discipline and sacrifice, while often isolated from family and friends. 

Take, for example, Simon Clarke, winner of stage 5 of this year’s Tour de France. In his post-race interview, he explains how he left Australia at the age of 16 to pursue professional cycling. Nearly 20 years later, his dream of victory at the Tour de France was realized.

Despite the hurdles that international riders must overcome to make it to the Tour de France, their numbers are growing. In 2022, Canada boasts a record four riders in the Tour de France, and dreams of a Canadian stage victory are alive and well as the Tour reaches its first mountain stages.

FloBikes is proud to provide Canadians live and on-demand coverage of the Tour de France in 2022. Read on to get to know the four Canadians competing in this year’s Tour de France, and the unique jobs that they have this July. Be sure to tune in daily to follow their journey across France.

Antoine Duchesne

Antoine Duchesne, the 30 year old riding for Groupama - FDJ hails from Saguenay, a city in Quebec which has hosted a significant stage race of its own. Duchesne found his way to Europe after racing for the Bontrager development team alongside the likes of Jasper Stuyven, and has matured into a capable climber and a steadfast teammate. 

Duchesne won the KOM classification in the 2016 edition of Paris-Nice and became Canada’s national champion in 2018. 

This July, Duchesne will be an important ally to teammates David Gaudu and Thibaut Pinot in the Tour’s mountains. His FDJ team hopes to support Gaudu’s general classification ambitions, while Pinot focuses on stage victories and KOM points. Duchesne will be instrumental in keeping his team leaders safe and well positioned, but that does not mean he won't be given opportunities of his own. 

Duchesne's only previous Tour de France experience comes from 2016, while racing for Direct Energie. The then-24-year-old made it to Paris, which is no small feat, and finished 16th in the youth competition. Six years later, Duchesne will be eager to see how he performs on the sport's biggest stage.

Guillaume Boivin

At 33 years old, Guillaume Boivin has been a professional cyclist since joining Spidertech in 2010. The Montreal native had the ride of his life while wearing the maple leaf national champion’s jersey at last year’s Paris-Roubaix. Despite crashing hard in the finale, he still finished 9th. 

Boivin was a last minute addition to Israel - Premier Tech’s roster after COVID-19 exposures forced them to leave Omer Goldstein and Daryl Impey at home. 

Boivin is a powerhouse rider with a nose for the breakaway. While he has remained relatively anonymous in the Tour’s opening stages, look for the muscular profile of Boivin making long-range attacks on hilly stages when the breakaway might manage to stave off the chasing peloton.

Hugo Houle

Hugo Houle is the third Quebecois in this year’s Tour de France. From Sainte-Perpétue, Houle began his career in 2011 with Spidertech after graduating college.

The 31-year-old Houle is a soft spoken, consummate professional who spent the last four years of his career shepherding Astana’s GC leaders through the most dangerous and stressful stages of the Tour de France. 

Houle, a two-time time trial national champion, has seemingly endless power on flat and hilly courses, and his innate ability to guide his team safely through crosswinds and hazardous racing scenarios earned him the role of road captain on Astana.

Houle transferred to Israel - Premier Tech for the 2022 season after the Canadian presenting sponsor cut ties with Astana. While Houle will play a major role in Jakob Fuglsang’s GC ambitions, he is not afraid to strike out for a personal result when given a chance. He has ridden himself into the top ten on previous Tour de France stages. 

Following Simon Clarke’s cobbled victory, the team is riding a high, and Houle could be next in line for a “hard-man race” victory.

Michael Woods

It is no coincidence that three of the four Canadians in the Tour de France find themselves on Israel - Premier Tech. While the team obviously has strong ties to Israel, it is owned by Canadian Sylvan Adams, and presenting sponsor Premier Tech is a company based in Quebec. The team has given many Canadians a home in the WorldTour, and Michael Woods was one of their highest priority signings. The hyper-talented former runner from Ontario captured the attention of the cycling world with his podium finish in the 2018 world championships

Woods is known for his explosive climbing style, which put him in the iconic polka dot jersey of last year’s Tour de France. 

Woods admitted that he went into last year’s tour attempting to accomplish too many objectives. This year, Woods’ primary goal is to win a stage of the Tour de France. He hopes to remain competitive in the KOM competition as he hunts for stages in the high mountains, but this year he will not sacrifice a finish line for a KOM line.

In a big improvement over 2021, Woods made it through the ever-dangerous opening stages without incident this year. With fresh legs and a healthy body, his first opportunity for victory arrives this Friday on the Super Planche des Belles Filles.