Canadian cyclist Hugo Houle shines on the World Tour circuit riding with Astana Pro Team, a team that brings Quebec expertise to the table internationally. It's on our new Nitrogen Disc that he raced the Grands Prix Cyclistes de Québec and Montréal. We took this opportunity to ask him some questions:
3 What are your three favourite elements of the new Nitrogen Disc?
HH: First of all, what I like about the Nitrogen Disc is the speed effect. Once it is launched, it keeps its momentum and provides a very fast feeling. It is very aerodynamic and has been carefully designed to ensure it. Secondly, I appreciate the stiffness of the bike. The rear triangle is very impressive in a sprint situation. The bike reacts very well and quickly. There is no loss of power. All the energy deployed is used forward. Finally, I like that the bike remains versatile. Even if it is an aero bike, very stiff, it can still be used on mountain stages because the frame is adapted and easy to handle. It is very pleasant to drive on the flat as well as on the hills.
You are associated with a few Quebec companies. Is that something you're proud of?
HH: I am always happy to ride an Argon 18 bike, especially in my field of work, because it allows Quebec's expertise to shine in areas where international competition is very strong and does not leave much room for emerging companies. While riding for Astana, I am one of only two Canadians from Quebec to race in the World Tour. Having the chance to ride a bike that shines and is designed here is always a pleasure. When I travel, I am proud to say that my bike comes from home. I also appreciate being able to talk openly with the Argon 18 team. I consider myself very fortunate to have this special relationship. We are a small nation but that doesn't stop us from excelling in the cycling world.
Is it special for you to race the Grand Prix Cyclistes de Québec and Montreal?
HH: It's really nice to race on my home turf. It's rare! If it weren't for the Grand Prix Cyclistes, I would never compete in Quebec. It is a great opportunity to show people what I do in Europe and how I represent Quebec. I am a professional cyclist and people know the Tour de France, but there are still several other important events that are not as well known here.