Thomas Voeckler (Bouygues Telecom) is on a good run. Yesterday he won the GP Plouay after attacking the hot sprint favourites with less than three kilometres to go and managed to hang on to his slim lead all the way to the line. But it was the overall victory in last week's Tour du Poitou-Charentes that laid the foundation for good results in the remainder of the season.
In an interview with velo101 the rider from the Alsace, who, before last week, hadn't won a race since Paris-Bourges in the fall of last year, revealed that "it was my first victory this season. It's been a long time."
He described his season with ups and downs, with a great period until Milano-Sanremo. "After that, I didn't have great results, even considering that in Paris-Nice I got a top ten place once and won the mountains classification. But as they say 'Only victory counts.'"
He admitted that in the spring he just had trouble finding his rhythm. "I also had some trouble with my knee. Like with all the riders, there is always some small health issue going on, even if it is not dramatic," the Frenchman acknowledged that the bike racers have to constantly look out for their well-being. Because of it he didn't find himself "at the front a lot," but is now looking forward to a good end of the season.
He wants to make the French Worlds team, as he enjoyed the experience in 2006. "I went last year and I would like to return. If I can ride well until the end of the month, I should be able to make the team." But the buck doesn't stop there and "being elected is not the end of it. One also has to obtain a good result."
He already had been in contact with Frédéric Moncassin, who is in charge of putting together a team for the Worlds, but admits that "there isn't much to say. If he thinks I can place he will take me and I will give my best."
A good way of getting great results is to be mentally prepared and the win in the Poitou-Charentes may just have done that for Voeckler. "It is true that winning the Tour du Poitou-Charentes, that was really good for the head. When one trains and races but can't get the results, it's a but frustrating," the Bouygues Telecom rider described the winless phase earlier in the year. Now, I have the ambition and that victory also gave me the pep for the rest of the year."
Memories of good moments he has plenty, notably the one from the 2004 Tour, where he got t wear the yellow jersey and Voeckler admitted that "I think I will miss those moments, when I will have to stop [riding]," but he is aware that "since the 2004 I haven't done anything exceptional."
Which has changed this weekend and with the win at the GP Plouay he can look forward to the rest of the season, which will consist of the Tour of Poland, the Worlds and Paris-Bourges, Paris-Tour and finally the Tour of Lombardy.