Tour de France rider gallery: Thomas Voeckler

Stage by stage through the lens

After so long living in the shadow of his 2004 Tour de France exploits, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) has re-emerged into the Tour de France limelight in a big way. The Frenchman has raced consistently in 2011 so far and is finally getting the reward for his aggressive, battling style.

The king of the barodeurs, Voeckler commands a huge media following, and for many he's a national hero. A former French champion, Voeckler has featured in a number of stages so far, but his stage-long break with Luis Leon Sanchez and Sandy Casar takes the cake.

Donning the yellow jersey for the rest day earned his Europcar plenty of attention and more than vindicated their invitation to this year's Tour. Don't think the Frenchman can't hang on in yellow for a few days yet, though the finish at Luz Ardiden is difficult, Voeckler has improved his climbing significantly in the last few years and could well be a tough nut to crack.

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