Posted by Editoress on 08/25/20
Astana has named Canadian rider Hugo Houle to their squad for the Tour de France, due to begin this Saturday (August 29th), in Nice, France. Houle recently tested positive for the COVID-19 virus (see Hugo Houle Tests Positive for COVID-19), missing the Tour of Lombardy, but has since been declared fit for competition. This will be Houle's second Tour, after finishing 91st last year.
Houle's return to racing comes after after two negative tests, "I did another [test] last Friday, a second PCR, which also came back negative, which was followed by a serological test [complete blood test]. Antibodies linked to COVID-19 have not been found. I also saw a cardiologist to do a VO2 Max stress test, a Doppler ultrasound of my heart [ultrasound], a breathing test and everything was 100% normal, fine and healthy," he said to Sportcom.
"If the tests had sucked, that would have been a different story. Nothing happens for nothing. [During quarantine] I rested, I was not in misery and I did what I had to do. I am not trying to find the why and the how. I'm ready to ride, I'm healthy, and I'm focusing on that."
"The team made the decision to add me to the Tour considering that I would be an important element and I am very happy with this great recognition. The Tour is still the Tour and I cannot refuse an invitation. I'm very, very happy to be part of the team and on top of that, it starts from Nice where I live. ... I'm just happy to be able to ride after everything I've been through, be free and ride with my teammates. The Tour remains exceptional with an incredible atmosphere and I am very healthy, fit and ready to enjoy it. I'll be ready to do whatever is going to be asked of me and try to be opportunistic to be in good breakaways."
Houle is still scheduled to do the Giro, which begins October 3rd.
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