Thomas Voeckler held on to the Tour de La Provence yellow jersey that he claimed following stage 1 victory to secure his first overall victory since the 2013 Tour du Poitou Charentes.
“I was not having a great day. It was difficult to control the entire stage. The guys did a great job, each at a specific time. In the end, I was not able to follow the attacks. But I was able to count on Lilian (Calmejane) returning. He helped me to close the gap to the most dangerous riders. Without that, I think it would have been over. I would not have been in yellow tonight”, Voeckler told DirectVelo.
“This is a win for the team. Lilian keeps 3rd place. It takes guts to help and end up in that place. Chapeau to him and to the others.”
“Everything works well in the team. We have had a great start to the season. When you starts well, there is a positive spiral. The assessment of the season will be in October but the start cannot be taken taken away,” said Voeckler.
Next up for Voeckler and Europcar is the pair of 1.1 French races this weekend, Classic Sud Ardèche – Souvenir Francis Delpech and La Drome Classic before Paris-Nice early-next month.
“I plan to do both races this weekend in Drôme Ardèche but that’s fine in the context of Paris-Nice,” Voeckler explained. “I expect to miss some freshness. There was no pressure anyway. Lilian has good legs. We do not base our start to the season on one race and this will allow us to ride more freely.”
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Direct Energie Lilian Calmejane petr vakoc thomas voeckler tour de la provence yellow jersey