(Copenhagen) “Did you interview all the Quebecers at the Tour de France? Wednesday afternoon, at the Groupama-FDJ hotel, in a remote corner on the outskirts of Copenhagen, Antoine Duchesne kindly pays the head of the two Quebec journalists who met him.
Posted at 6:00 yesterday
The day before he had received a photo of a boarding pass for a Montreal-Copenhagen trip. This is how Guillaume Boivin told him he was about to join him and Hugo Houle for the Tour de France.
For the first time ever, the three Quebec amigos will compete on a grand tour together, not just any one.
Duchesne wondered if the news had come out. Israel-Premier Tech (IPT) confirmed Boivin’s presence half an hour later on social media. Considered a “high-risk contact case” for COVID-19, Omer Goldstein, the only Israeli in formation on the Tour, had to relinquish his place. It is the Quebecer, the first substitute, to inherit it.
I found out on Monday before flying from Edmonton to Montreal. They asked me to do a PCR test. I knew what it meant.
Second in the Canadian championships, where Pier-André Côté deprived him of his second consecutive national title, Boivin then returned to Montreal to leave the next day.
Barely landing in Copenhagen on Wednesday afternoon, he donned new shorts and jersey to attend a meeting with the Tour organization and then attended the official team presentation in the Tivoli Gardens, a large amusement park with an old-fashioned look in the evening.
The thousands of spectators had none other than Christopher Froome, the four-time winner who galvanized them, and Jakob Fuglsang, the 37-year-old local hero who hopes to score a first stage win on the Tour.
“It’s definitely the best presentation I’ve attended,” said Michael Woods, Israel-Premier Tech’s other Canadian, who is at least “half” Quebecer, according to Duchesne, who has attended his lectures in the province and now owns a house in Chelsea.
Boivin tasted the moment. “I was hoping to come, blew up the athlete from Longueuil. Since the beginning of the year, I think I have my place. I’m just happy to be here. And I want to show that it’s not for nothing. ”
Despite the lack of sleep, the 33-year-old cyclist is counting on “adrenaline” for the start of the Tour, which kicks off on Friday with a time trial in the center of the Danish capital.
“It is a privilege to be on the Tour,” insisted the one who took part in his first senior year. “It is never given. It is not [la fatigue] which will prevent me from having a good Tour and enjoying it. ”
” I can not wait “
Boivin had swallowed his lack of selection badly last week. He had just competed in a series of races in Belgium when he had to line up for the Critérium du Dauphiné, one of the last major preparatory events for the Tour. IPT had sent him there to collect UCI points and escape relegation to the second division. next year. To avoid brooding, he headed to Edmonton to defend his national title.
After 12, 13 years of activity, we are used to traveling left and right and feeling strong emotions. It’s part of the job.
Eager to contribute to the success of his teammates Woods and Fuglsang, Boivin is looking to one stage in particular, the fifth, where the riders will travel the cobbled sections of Paris-Roubaix. Ninth in the famous classic of last year, in the spring he was unable to express himself, slowed down by the disease.
He plans to catch up next week. “I’ve been thinking about it for a long time. I love pebbles, it’s no secret. I can’t wait.”
David Veilleux is the first Quebec native to take part in the Tour de France in 2013. Pierre Gachon, a Parisian who immigrated to Quebec as a teenager, is the first Canadian to have started in 1937.
For the first time, the Tour will therefore be able to count on three Quebecers, almost four. Last year, Houle and Boivin posed together at sunset on the Champs-Élysées. They hope to be even more numerous in the souvenir photo in three weeks.