Voeckler keeps faith in Bernaudeau to find a new team sponsor

His contract expires at the end of this season and his manager Jean-René Bernaudeau has yet to find a new team sponsor but Thomas Voeckler (Europcar) has vowed to carry on racing into 2016, even if he has to find a new squad.

The 35-year-old is racing the Tour de Yorkshire this week and will lead Europcar during the three-day race in the United Kingdom as he seeks form and results ahead of this year's Tour France.

Voeckler has been with Bernaudeau's team since his first baby steps as a neo-pro at the start of the decade under the guise of Bonjour and although he has not ruled out riding for a non-French team should Bernaudeau run out of options, he has told Cyclingnews that he will give his long-time manager every opportunity.

"The only thing I know is that I don't want to stop my career this year," Voeckler told Cyclingnews at the race presentation in Yorkshire.

"I want to be in the peloton next year. One thing that's for sure is that I'll wait until Jean-René finds something. If not I'll wait until September and then try and find a team but I trust in Bernaudeau to find a sponsor.

"I don't want to think about stopping this season. I'll be on the bike next season but after that I don't know. If for example Jean-René finds a sponsor for three years I'll still only sign for one and then see how it goes, step-by-step."

For now the onus is on racing and Voeckler is keen to find his best form ahead of the Tour de France in July. It's been a difficult campaign so far for the veteran rider with crashes and injuries affecting him.

"The form isn't too bad but it's been difficult since the start of the season as I've crashed twice this year already. It's meant that it's been difficult for me to really find my best shape. I'm at 90 per cent but that might be enough to help me fight at this race.

"This race fits perfectly with my race programme. I was in Liège-Bastogne-Liège last Sunday and the legs weren't too bad and I wasn't too far down on the winner. I've recovered well. I'm a little bit frightened by the first stage here, with the wind along the seafront though."

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Daniel Benson

Daniel Benson was the Editor in Chief at Cyclingnews.com between 2008 and 2022. Based in the UK, he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he ran the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.