Tour de France KoM winner knocked back by Tour of Belgium crash
Team Europcar will send their two French captains to the Critérium du Dauphiné as part of their final preparation before the Tour de France. Thomas Voeckler is coming from a difficult week at the Tour of Belgium, where he was lantern rouge while Pierre Rolland has been steadily building his condition at the Bayern-Rundfahrt where he finished 17th-overall.
Voeckler and Rolland find themselves in very different stages of their build-up ahead of their season's biggest goal at the Tour de France which comes in less than a month's time; Voeckler is searching for race condition while his younger compatriot will be testing where he stands against a number of his key Tour rivals Chris Froome (Sky), Alberto Contador (Saxo-Tinkoff), Alejandro Valverde (Movistar), Joaquím Rodríguez (Katusha) and Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Lotto Belisol).
Last year's King of the Mountains winner Voeckler is still on the comeback trail after breaking his collarbone at Amstel Gold and received another knock when he crashed on Stage 1 of the recent Tour of Belgium. Voeckler spent the remaining 55km of the 194km stage on his own and spent the rest of the five-day race nursing his injuries while finishing the race as the last rider on the general classification.
"It will be difficult to get a result by the end of the race because I still feel the lack of competition over the recent weeks," wrote Voeckler on Facebook.
Rolland on the other hand has a stage win and the overall classification at the Circuit de la Sarthe to his name while also banking plenty of trouble-free race days since the start of the year. Going off team reports and recent results, Rolland will likely be the team's protected rider while Voeckler looks to support his teammate over the eight days.
Team Europcar for the Critérium du Dauphiné: Natnael Berhane (Eri), Anthony Charteau (Fra), Cyril Gautier (Fra), Davide Malacarne (Ita), Kevin Reza (Fra), Pierre Rolland (Fra), David Veilleux (Can) and Thomas Voeckler (Fra).
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Tour de France
Tour de France 2013