David Veilleux went into his first Critérium du Dauphine with the hope of a good performance, while supporting his team-mates. He came out with an impressive haul of one stage win, three days in yellow and a spot on Europcar’s Tour de France team.
The Canadian rider became only the second from his country to wear the Dauphiné’s yellow jersey, after soloing to victory on stage one. “I had an opportunity and I had to seize the moment,” Veilleux explains to Cycling News HD.
“We had 10 minutes in the breakaway and that doesn’t happen often in a stage. Plus the extra, taking the yellow jersey, it was very incredible. I talked with Thomas [Voeckler] a little bit after. He advised me on how to manage the media and the attention and how to focus it a little bit and just being stronger on the bike.”
His brief jaunt in yellow only lasted until the time trial, on stage four, where he lost almost four minutes. Needless to say his performance impressed the Europcar management. Rumour spread quickly, among the Canadian press, that the 25-year-old would line-up in Corsica.
It wasn’t, actually, until after he’d finish the gruelling Dauphiné, that he was told he’d made the cut. “They officially announced my place on the team on Monday,” says the Europcar rider. “It is fantastic. It’s been a dream since I started riding my bike. It was the first race that I watched on the TV, it was the only race that we had. For every cyclist it is a dream to ride the Tour de France.”
Veilleux will be riding the Tour de France in support of team-mates Thomas Voeckler and Pierre Rolland. The duo has given the French team a victory every year since the car rental company took over as sponsor. For now, Veilleux is just happy to start the race he’s been dreaming of for so long and keeping his feet on the ground.
“We have two very strong leaders, who can do well, so I will be behind them and trying to support them the best I can,” he says. “If the opportunity presents its self, getting into a breakaway would be nice, but I’m not thinking about this now.”
Cycling News HD
For the full interview with David Veilleux, download this week’s issue of Cycling News HD. Issue 60 looks back at Chris Froome’s win at the Critérium du Dauphiné and ask if it is a sign of things to come. We also review the opening stages of the Tour de Suisse, all with in depth analysis and stunning photography. We look forward to the crucial stages of the Tour de France and Daniel Friebe asks if Andy Schleck’s career is hanging in the balance.
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