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Voeckler and Rolland lead Europcar at Tour de France

By:
Cycling News
Published:
June 30, 2014, 10:58 BST,
Updated:
June 30, 2014, 11:59 BST
Edition:
Second Edition Cycling News, Monday, June 30, 2014
Race:
Tour de France
Thoams Voeckler sans tongue

Thoams Voeckler sans tongue

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Coquard makes his debut

Thomas Voeckler and Pierre Rolland will once again lead the Europcar team at the Tour de France. In recent years, the team has had to rely on wildcard entries to the Tour de France, but this season is the first time Jean-René Bernaudeau has gained automatic entry as a WorldTour team since 2009.

Voeckler has been the team’s most successful Tour de France rider with four stage wins, the 2012 mountains classification and two 10-day stints in the yellow jersey. His highest overall finish was fourth in 2011, the best for a French rider since Christophe Moreau in 2000.

The 35-year-old has proved to be something of a talismanic figure for the Vendée based-team. His attacking style has also made him a favourite with most fans – even if that isn’t alway reciprocated within the peloton. Voeckler is still searching for his first victory this season, after breaking his collarbone back in January. He will be hunting for stage victories again, while Rolland is set to lead Europcar's general classification challenge.

Rolland has had a very strong start to the season, taking fourth in the general classification at the Giro d’Italia. Like Voeckler, it was his equally aggressive riding style that moved him up the standings in the final week. He was part of the group of riders who escaped on the descent of the Stelvio in contentious circumstances on stage 16. Rolland has won two stages of the Tour de France, including the 2011 summit finish at Alpe d’Huez.

Joining him from the Giro d’Italia squad Yukio Arashiro and Perrig Quemeneur. 22-year-old Bryan Coquard is the team’s only debutant this season. The sprinter turned professional with the team last year, after taking silver in the omnium at the Olympics in 2012. Coquard already has five victories to his name this year and could be an interesting wildcard in the sprints.

The team also includes Cyril Gautier, Yohann Gène, Alexandre Pichot and Kevin Reza.

Europcar team for the Tour de France: Yukiya Arashiro, Bryan Coquard, Cyril Gautier, Yohann Gène, Alexandre Pichot, Perrig Quémeneur, Kevin Reza, Pierre Rolland, Thomas Voeckler.

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