Hugo Houle from Israel-Premier Tech held off a chase pack on the grueling ascent of Mur de Peguere, and on the ensuing windy descent, to win Stage 16 of the 2022 Tour de France. Houle became the first rider from Canada to take the top step on the podium since Steve Bauer won a stage 34 years ago during the 1988 Tour de France.

Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech) celebrates his victory in Stage 16 of the Tour de France at the finish line in Foix. (Image: Reuters)

Stage 16 from Carcassonne to Foix – considered “hilly” as a prelude to the Pyrenees – is a technical 178.5 km route with a pair of Category 1 climbs with the Port de Lers and Mur de Peguere.

Houle attacked with 27 km to go and held off the chase pack to finish 70 seconds ahead of teammate Michael Woods and Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) to secure his first-ever stage victory in any major event on the Grand Tour. American Matteo Jorgenson (Movistar) was a part of the chase group, but crashed on the descent. Even so, he still finished in fourth place.

2022 Tour de France – Stage 16 Results
  1. Hugo Houle (Israel-Premier Tech) 4:23:47
  2. Valentin Madouas (Groupama-FDJ) +1:10
  3. Michael Woods (Israel-Premier Tech) +1:10

Houle dedicated the Tour de France stage win to his brother Perrick, who died in a tragic accident over a decade ago in Canada.

“I had one dream: to win the stage for my brother who died when I turned professional,” said Houle. “I won this for him. Waited for 12 years for this.”

The victory marked a second stage win for Israel-Premier Tech, including Simon Clarke’s impressive victory when he conquered the cobblestones in Stage 5.

Preview Stage 17: Saint-Gaudens > Peyragudes

The heat wave in Europe continues and Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) struggles in high temperatures. The defending champion is running out of stages in which to regain the yellow jersey. Pogacar didn’t make a move in Stage 16 despite a rest day on Monday. Either he didn’t have legs, or he’s waiting until Peyragudes to make a move on Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma).

Stage 17 is only 129.7 km, but it features four categorized climbs, including a trio of awful Category 1 ascents at Col d’Aspin, Col de Val Louron-Azet, and the infamous Peyragudes, which has an average gradient of 7.8%. With two ascents in the final 20 km, expect fireworks on Stage 17. Should be a fun game of cat and mouse in the Pyrenees on Wednesday.

2022 Le Tour – Overall GC Standings
  1. Jonas Vingegaard (Jumbo-Visma) 64:28:09
  2. Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) +2:22
  3. Geraint Thomas (Ineos Grenadiers) +2:43
  4. Nairo Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) +4:15
  5. David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) +4:24

In the overall general classification standings, there was no change among the top three contenders. Vingegaard, Pogacar, and Geraint Thomas (Ineos) finished clustered together in a group 5:54 behind Houle. They still remain 1-2-3 in the GC standings. Once again, Vingegaard successfully defended the yellow jersey, and Pogacar failed to trim any time off his 2:22 deficit.

Romain Bardet (DSM) and Adam Yates (Ineos) fell out of the top five. Yates slipped to sixth place, and Bardet dropped to ninth. Nario Quintana (Arkea-Samsic) moved into fourth place and is 4:15 back, while France’s David Gaudu (Groupama-FDJ) is only 4:24 back in fifth place.

Pogacar saw his overall betting odds to win the 2022 Tour de France dip from +175 yesterday to +250 after Stage 16. Vingegaard’s odds moved from -225 before Stage 16 to -300 afterward.

Check out more of OG’s coverage of the 2022 Tour de France.