Frenchman Thomas Voeckler of Europcar has been putting on quite the show at the Tour de France this year.
After grabbing hold of the yellow jersey on Stage 9, by being part of a breakaway, Voeckler has not let it go. He currently remains in front of the General Classification with a nearly two minute lead over Frank Schleck and the rest of the contenders.
Prior to the Pyrenees stages, many wrote off Voeckler and thought he would crack on the climbs, not being able to stay with the likes of Andy Schleck, Cadel Evans, Ivan Basso, or Alberto Contador.
However, Voeckler and his Europcar team have proven doubters wrong by keeping pace on the toughest mountains of the Pyrenees.
On Stage 12, Voeckler handily crossed the famed Col de Tourmalet with most of his team intact in the run up to the final climb to Luz Ardiden.
On that final climb to Luz Ardiden, Voeckler's teammate Pierre Rolland drove an elite peloton up the mountain.
When several of the contenders including Frank Schleck and Contador attacked, Voeckler or his teammate marked the attacks or were able to follow the wheels of others.
Though the older Schleck was able to get a gap, Voeckler handily finished shortly after an elite group of Evans, Schleck, and Basso.
After the stage, many thought it was an aberration and perhaps just the adrenaline rush of holding the yellow jersey that kept Voeckler going.
However, on Stage 14, Voeckler proved his doubters wrong once again.
This time, it was Andy Schleck launching attack after attack on the final climb to Plateau de Beille. But Voeckler and his lieutenant Rolland once again stayed on the wheel of the contenders throughout the climb.
In fact, Voeckler looked like one of the strongest up the climb, when he marked numerous attacks by Schleck, Basso, and Evans. The yellow jersey was an ever present force with this elite group.
After the stage, Voeckler received praised from seven time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong.
If Voeckler makes it to the top w/ the leaders today then we have to say he can win the TdF. He's got 2 mins and they can't shake him, Armstrong tweeted about Voeckler's chances for the overall win.
Armstrong should know about the strength of Voeckler, after he couldn't take the yellow jersey off of Voeckler for 10 days until the Alps in 2004.
He's French. It's the Tour de FRANCE, said Armstrong.
The Frenchman is certainly showing that he is the superstar of this year's Tour de France.
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