Thomas Voeckler is back! In 2011 the Team Europcar team leader became a hero at the Tour de France as he fought to defend the leader’s yellow jersey. This year Voeckler has been struggling with a knee injury but showed his panache and natural aggression by winning the testing mountain stage to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine.
Voeckler and all the Team Europcar riders are using the new-look Colnago C59 Team Edition bike from the 2013 Colnago collection. He gave the bike a victorious baptism, confirming it is a perfect race bike.
Voeckler made sure he was in the breakaway of the stage and then was one of the strongest riders on the climbs. He was the first over the Col du Grand Colombier and the Col de Richemond, picking up a total of 28 points and so taking the lead in the climber’s competition.
Voeckler was in the front group after the long descent to Bellegarde-sur-Valserine and then chased after late attackers Jens Voigt and Dries Devenyns. He passed them in the final kilometre, had the strength to make it to the finish and win alone. He waved one hand in an emotional victory salute.
“I’m 33 years old, this is my tenth Tour de France and so I fully appreciate what I’ve managed to achieve. Taking the polka-dot climber’s jersey is great but I also wanted to win the stage too. I got it!” he said.
“Everyone doubted that the problem with my knee was true. But I had eight days off the bike at home before the Tour de France. It was an amazing feeling when I crossed the line. My knee hurts, everything hurts but it’s worth it.”