Human Powered Health is welcoming three stagiaires on board for the remainder of the 2022 season – American Tyler Stites and Canadian Charles-Étienne Chrétien join British rider Paul Double, who as well as being a trainee will also be on the roster for 2023.
What is a stagiaire?
Stagiaire is a French word that translates to “trainee” and in cycling terms means a rider who effectively acts as an apprentice bike racer on a professional team from August 1 until the end of that current season.
A crucial pathway for emerging talent, the practice means that young riders can get a shot at racing in the top bike races, while in a more pragmatic sense, they can fill in any gaps that have been created due to a heavy schedule of racing.
British rider Paul Double joins from Mg.K Vis-Color for Peace-VPM for the 2023 season, with the 26-year-old filling a stagiaire position for the remainder of this current year.
“I’m super excited, it’s what I’ve been working for to be racing with the pros,” Double said from Munich airport on his way to the first race of the late summer season. “Hopefully it will bring the best out of me and the key for me was to be in the right environment. I feel like this team is exactly that. I’m really excited for what’s to come.”
A lightweight climber and stage hunter when the road turns upwards, Double has impressed this season with results against elite competition, most notably at the Tour of Slovenia where he often rode in the wheel of two-time Tour de France champion Tadej Pogačar.
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Having raced on mainly Italian continental teams throughout his development, Double has taken a relatively unconventional pathway through the sport compared to most British cyclists. Double says this alternative path to the pros has made him adaptable as both a rider and a person.
He does admit though that this has had an impact on his knowledge of nutrition and supplementation, which means he’s looking forward to working with Thorne on his pre, during and post-race routines.
“I’m really excited to be working with Thorne as they can teach me the things I don’t know about the way I can find extra gains through nutrition,” he explained.
Off the bike, Double plays the guitar and sings – although he admits he only likes doing the latter to himself – and likes to enjoy his time cooking and entertaining friends.
Double’s first race in sunset colors will be the Czech Republic’s Sazka Tour, starting August 4.
“It’s going to be really cool to meet the guys and get to understand how the team runs. I’d like to see where I am at on my level, but at the end of the day I’m here to perform in the role the team want me to fulfil.”
Silver medalist at the national championships, Tyler Stites, will join Double in the Czech Republic for the Sazka Tour. The 24-year-old from Tucson, Arizona has had a remarkable domestic season with two stage wins at the Tour of Gila, a GC podium at the Joe Martin Stage Race and fifth in the US pro TT as well as the aforementioned road silver.
“Before Human Powered Health were on my radar they were always the cool team,” Stites said from the Kreiz Breizh Elites race. “I’ve been talking to the team for a few years and now I have got my chance, so I’m really excited.”
Stites excels at punchy races and short climbs, thanks in part to his Arizona upbringing riding with the pros in the infamous ‘Tucson Shootout’ group ride, but will use the experience to improve in all areas of bike racing.
“I’m hoping to learn as much as I can from the super experienced riders on the team,” Stites added.
Signing from Project Echelon Racing, the American is looking forward to linking back up with former teammates Gage Hecht and Nickolas Zukowsky, and hopes that in the first race on his calendar he can help deliver a result for the team.
Finally, Human Powered Health welcomes back Charles-Étienne Chrétien to the program. The 23-year-old from Quebec was a stagiaire during the 2021 season and joins back up with the team having been racing with Premier Tech U23 Cycling Project.
“It’s nice to be back,” Chrétien said of his return. “The team has a really good structure and I liked it last year so I’m super excited to finish the season with Human Powered Health.”
Fans will remember the French-speaking rider from his previous stint where, on the opening stage of the Giro di Sicilia, he captured maximum KOM points to wear the climber’s jersey the next day.
“Last year I had the opportunity to taste the higher European peloton so definitely this year I know a bit more what to expect,” Chrétien remembers.
The all-rounder who can climb, go in the breakaway or even help out in the sprints has been active all year throughout the French races, including a notably strong ride in a 122km breakaway at the relentless Tro-Bro Léon, as well as top ten finishes in Flèche Ardennaise and the Tour de Normandie.
The Canadian will slot right back into the action when he takes to the start line of the Volta a Portugal em Bicicleta later this week.
“I’m going to be looking for opportunities to be active as much as possible in the races and do my best to help the team reach their goals in Portugal.”
You can keep up with our stagiaires progress throughout the Sazka Tour and Volta a Portugal by following our social media channels for updates.