Thomas Voeckler was again one of the stars of the Tour de France, winning two stages and the climber’s polka dot jersey while riding his Colnago C59 Team Edition bike. Yet the likeable Frenchman is still hungry for success in 2012 and has made the world road race championships on the hilly roads of Limburg in the south of the Netherlands, as a final goal of the season.
Voeckler rode some criteriums after the Tour de France but returned to serious racing last week in Italy. He rode aggressively at the Tre Valli Varesine race, helping teammate David Veilleux win the race, before finishing ninth in the chase group. He then completed the Tour du Poitou-Charentes stage race in France, finishing a close second on the final stage.
“I was happy to be back racing, I always miss it. I was also happy to race in Italy because theirs is so much passion and tradition,” Voeckler explained in a recent interview, revealing he recovered from the Tour de France by mixing time with his family and some training on his home roads in the Vendee region of South West France.
“After the Tour de France I only ride five criteriums. Other riders in my situation would have take more advantage but I didn’t want to tire myself out.”
Voeckler is a favourite for the GP Ouest-France – a race he won in 2007, and will then travel to Canada for the GP Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec on September 7 and the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal on September 9. Voeckler won the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec in 2010.
These important and testing UCI WorldTour races will give him confirmation of his fitness as the world championships approach. The men’s road race is on Sunday September 23rd.
“The two Canadian races will give me a clear indication of my form. I’ve got a plan in my head and hope it all comes together,” he said.
Voeckler is admired for his panache and success but also for his sincerity and honesty. He would love to be world champion but knows that it cycling’s most coveted one-day race is never easy to win.
“I know that it’s probably 99% sure that my career will end without me ever pulling on the rainbow jersey but I also know that if I don’t give it everything to try, I’ll never know if I’m able to turn that 1% into success,” he said.
“Even if I was fifth in the Amstel Gold race (on the same roads as this year’s world championships), it doesn’t mean anything. There will be at least 100 riders looking to win. But I won’t go to the world championships to attack a long way out like I’ve often done in other races. I’m ready to change my way of racing to win that race.”