30. 5. – 2. 6. 2024 UCI Europe Tour

From Jeseníky to Australia. Antoine Huby fights in the World Tour after his triumph in the Czech Republic

A jewel in the form of a victory in the Peace Race Under 23 set the mosaic for a great 2023 season. Then Antoine Huby saw his dream come true. He signed a contract with the Soudal Quick Step team from the World Tour. It was confirmed that the stage battle with the subtitle Grand Prix Jeseníky opens the door to young talents among the absolute cycling elite.

"I am living my dream. I became a professional," says Antoine Huby, a twenty-three-year-old French youngster.
Last June, he finished second in the third act of the Peace Race from Bruntál to Červenohorské sedlo and took the lead in the race, which he held a day later. "The memories of winning the Peace Race will stay in my head forever," he says as he stands on the top step of the podium in Jeseník.

"Antoine Huby has a lot of potential. He is undoubtedly talented and will soon be on the roster of one of the elite stables," predicts Race Director of the U23 Peace Race Leopold König immediately after the 2023 edition has finished. Two months later, Antoine Huby signed for two years with a Belgian formation.

"When Johan Molly, the team's scout, contacted me, I couldn't believe it. After all, I'm wearing the same jersey as Julian Alaphilippe, who is one of my idols," gushes Antoine Huby. "We've been following him for a long time. At races like Lutych-Bastogne-Lutych under-23 or the Peace Race, he confirmed that he's ready for the professional track," explains seasoned manager Patrick Lefevere on why he chose the winner of the stage battle on Czech soil for his line-up.

And while in previous seasons Huby usually didn't enter the racing carousel until late spring, the move to the pros has changed his schedule in a big way. Just as the destinations have changed. Instead of one-off races in France, Belgium or Luxembourg and stage events on home soil or in Poland and the Czech Republic, he went to Australia in January, then raced in Oman. By mid-February he has thirteen days of racing and 1,657 sharp kilometres under his belt.

"I love racing under the sun. So to start the season in Australia has been incredible. As was the opportunity to race in the World Tour. And not to mention the great amount of fans that came to the races. The interaction with them absolutely thrilled me," Atoine Huby doesn't hide his excitement when speaking to the team website after his appearance at the Tour Down Under and his debut among the pros, where his victory in the U23 Peace Race helped him significantly.

Moreover, on the exact day of his twenty-third birthday, Antoine Huby shone by finishing eighth in the fourth stage of a race classified in the highest category of the World Tour. "In the past, I usually spent my birthday cyclo-crossing. Or during a training camp. It was great and very special to have one of the first sharp days among the pros on that day," Antoine Huby recalled that in the past his winter programme consisted of cyclocross as part of his preparation for the club scene in the jersey of Cross Team Legendre or Vendée U.

"It's a big discovery for me. I was used to always racing at the front, staying at the front of the bunch. But now I'm learning that among the pros, it's good to stay calm for as long as possible and save energy," smiled Antoine Huby, alluding to the fact that the transition from the "three-twos" category to the elite involves different tactical requirements.

From 30 May to 2 June, the cycling stars of the future will be in the Czech Republic again. As part of the Nations Cup series, the 11th edition of the Under-23 Peace Race will be held, which has in the past featured Tadej Pogačar, Jonas Vingegaard, Julian Alaphilippe, Filippo Zana and David Gaudu.


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