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Tour de France rider gallery: Thomas Voeckler

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New Tour leader Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) soaks up the applause.

New Tour leader Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) soaks up the applause.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) gives it his all in the winning break in the race finale.

Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) gives it his all in the winning break in the race finale.
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thomas Voeckler and his Europcar teammates

Thomas Voeckler and his Europcar teammates
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Thomas Voeckler poses in the traditional "reading the paper" pose on the Tour's rest day

Thomas Voeckler poses in the traditional "reading the paper" pose on the Tour's rest day
(Image credit: AFP Photo)
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Thomas Voeckler came in all Gladiator-style

Thomas Voeckler came in all Gladiator-style
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Jérémy Roy (FDJ) tried a late attack

Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Jérémy Roy (FDJ) tried a late attack
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Jelle Vandendert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) attacked on the climb to the finish.

Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) and Jelle Vandendert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) attacked on the climb to the finish.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) on the attack with Tony Gallopin (Cofidis), Dries Devenyns (Quickstep), Tony Martin (HTC) and Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)

Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) on the attack with Tony Gallopin (Cofidis), Dries Devenyns (Quickstep), Tony Martin (HTC) and Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Race leader Thomas Voeckler has a little private time at the start in Limoux

Race leader Thomas Voeckler has a little private time at the start in Limoux
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thomas Voeckler was tenacious on stage 14

Thomas Voeckler was tenacious on stage 14
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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The Europcar team protected Voeckler all day

The Europcar team protected Voeckler all day
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)

Thomas Voeckler (Europcar)
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Ivan Basso Follows Thomas Voeckler

Ivan Basso Follows Thomas Voeckler
(Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Race leader Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) big rings the final pitch up Luz-Ardiden on the wheel of teammate Pierre Rolland.

Race leader Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) big rings the final pitch up Luz-Ardiden on the wheel of teammate Pierre Rolland.
(Image credit: Sirotti)
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Voeckler fought hard and held on to another day in yellow

Voeckler fought hard and held on to another day in yellow
(Image credit: Peter Goding)

After so long living in the shadow of his 2004 Tour de France exploits, Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) has re-emerged into the Tour de France limelight in a big way. The Frenchman has raced consistently in 2011 so far and is finally getting the reward for his aggressive, battling style.

The king of the barodeurs, Voeckler commands a huge media following, and for many he's a national hero. A former French champion, Voeckler has featured in a number of stages so far, but his stage-long break with Luis Leon Sanchez and Sandy Casar takes the cake.

Donning the yellow jersey for the rest day earned his Europcar plenty of attention and more than vindicated their invitation to this year's Tour. Don't think the Frenchman can't hang on in yellow for a few days yet, though the finish at Luz Ardiden is difficult, Voeckler has improved his climbing significantly in the last few years and could well be a tough nut to crack.

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