The 2017 Tour de France will be the last hurrah for a few riders, not least Thomas Voeckler and Haimar Zubeldia. Voeckler announced ahead of the season that he would close his career after the three-week race, while Zubeldia made his announcement on the second rest day.
In the latest episode of inCycle, the pair talk about their love of the Tour de France. Voeckler has become a household name in his home country since making his debut in 2003. His facial expressions and attacks are part and parcel of the race now. Over the years, Voeckler has won four stages, the mountains classification and spent two stints in the yellow jersey. His most memorable ride was in 2011 where he held the yellow jersey until the final mountain stage, where he gave it away to Andy Schleck, and eventually finished fourth.
Zubeldia rode his first Tour de France two years before a fresh-faced Voeckler arrived on the scene and has only missed it once in that time. He almost didn’t make it to this year’s race but was called up at the last minute when Andre Cardoso was suspended after testing positive for EPO. Zubeldia has never won an individual stage, but did take a team time trial victory with Astana in 2009. He will ride one more race after the conclusion of the Tour de France at the Clasica San Sebastian in his native Basque Country.
Also in this week’s episode, the team follows Carmen Small on her recovery from injury and working as a directeur sportif. Small has been suffering with headaches since a heavy crash at the Ronde van Drenthe in March. While side-lined from racing, the American has been working as a directeur sportif for her VeloConcept team.
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