By Jean-François Quénet in Digne-les-Bains
Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) is riding the Dauphiné but it wasn't planned in his initial program for the 2007 season. For the first time, he decided to double up on the Giro and Tour, but he had to withdraw from the Tour of Italy after only one week due to pain in one knee. After a rest, he resumed racing at the GP Plumelec and the Boucles de l'Aulne where he rode aggressively as he often does when uninjured.
He finished 19th in the time trial and 24th up Mont Ventoux, but he finished 10 minutes behind Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana) in Digne-les-Bains. "It had nothing to do with the knee, so I'm happy to say that I don't have problems anymore," he said. "I'm not worried because I've lost some time today. I've passed the time to worry. When I came to the Dauphiné, I would have signed up for the good sensations I experienced at the beginning of the race. I'm right on track for the Tour de France."
The Frenchman knows it'll be difficult to repeat his 10-day-long yellow adventure of 2004, but he's determined to have an impact at the Tour again.