Louis Garneau followed with great interest the work of Antoine Duchesne, last week, during the seven stages of Paris-Nice. He is now convinced of one thing, the native of Chicoutimi rider will start from the next edition of the Tour de France on July 2.
Duchesne has attracted the spotlight in his direction by terminating the Paris-Nice with the polka dot jersey for the best climber on the back. He also made his mark by hosting important escaped a few times.
For former cyclist and businessman, there is no doubt that the performance of Duchesne is part of the great moments of Canadian cycling.
“It’s a great performance, advance Louis Garneau, who dedicated his life to cycling and has made a career on the international scene for 13 years. In the history of Canadian cycling, nobody did it in Paris-Nice. It’s an old race. It is part of the World Tour. Among the runners, there might be the next winner of the Tour de France Alberto Contador.
“Antoine has surprised him and he surprised us. He surprised the nation as Chicoutimi. What he did is extraordinary. In addition to obtaining the title of best climber, he made three breakaways during the week. He proved three times during the week that it has its place.
“This weekend, I predicted he had just won his place in the Tour de France. I’m not afraid to move forward. I bike experience enough to know that it will be difficult to put aside for the selection of the Tour de France, unless a health problem or accident. Which also helps Antoine is that his team (Direct Energy) is not very strong. It is therefore among the best in the team. That gives him points and that is why I am able to be realistic enough to say that Antoine will be the Tour de France. It will be the second and the first Quebecer Cornflower to the Tour de France. ”
Louis Garneau spoke with Antoine Duchesne every day during the Paris-Nice. The links between the two men remain close and they are rooted there several years. The cyclist was part of the cycling team Garneau-Quebecor, a development training that has contributed to the progress of athletes like David Veilleux and Hugo Houle.
Duchesne has also rolled with the son of the President of Louis Garneau Sports earlier in his career. This weekend, the businessman was as proud as if his own son had managed to shine on the international stage of cycling.
And he is convinced that this success could not come at a better time for Antoine Duchesne.
“We will not hide that if Antoine did not result this year, it would have been difficult to find a contract for next year, said the helper and still limited Antoine Duchesne. Serge Arseneault also worked hard with him. We are proud of him.
“It is our party Antoine and he deserves it. He is currently developing his confidence. He made sacrifices to succeed, he lives in Europe, and it has my admiration. We will be with him wholeheartedly for his selection, but what he just accomplished gave him an incredible confidence. He realized that he is no worse than others. ”