Hugo Houle has hit out against Cycling Canada, describing a national road program that he feels has been cast aside and “disrespected.”
The 30-year-old had initially voiced grievances over support from his national body in the weeks after the September world championships , blasting the federation’s provision of race jerseys that failed to fit correctly.
“We looked like clowns,” Houle had said soon after the worlds. “Even my father doesn’t wear that to go do a grand fondo on Sunday afternoon. I looked like a Pinocchio with it. The sleeves kept rolling up. I stuck in the wind at the end. ”
The Canadian team’s troubles at the Imola championships went beyond jerseys. The four-man squad was left scrambling for race vehicles and staffer support in what Houle feels is a withdrawal from road programs by Cycling Canada.
Houle, who races with Astana in the WorldTour, explained that the majority of the oversight and support for the Canadian worlds team came from Israel Start-Up Nation infrastructure and staffers supplied by team benefactor, Montreal-born Sylvan Adams . Former Canadian champion Steve Bauer of CCC Team and Paulo Saldanha, coach of Michael Woods, also lent assistance.
“Thanks to Paulo Saldanha and Sylvan Adams who put all the staff in Israel [at our disposal] and to Steve Bauer, who came to help us,” Houle told La Presse this week. “This year, we had the bus and vehicles from Israel [at worlds]. We had a lot of support on that side. Since there is no program, the guys […]