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" Voeckler’s climbing abilities make him especially suited to the 2014 route and he could be a strong contender for the Ochre Jersey," race director Mike Turtur says

Photo: Sirotti

BJÖRN THURAU

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DIRECT ENERGIE

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JEROME COUSIN

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THOMAS VOECKLER

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TOUR DOWN UNDER

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YUKIYA ARASHIRO

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31.12.2013 @ 17:21 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team Europcar will be led by their biggest star when they kick off their first season in the WorldTour in the Tour Down Under in January. Thomas Voeckler will make his Australian race debut in the opening WorldTour race and leads a versatile French team under the Australian sun.

 

In 2014 Team Europcar is back at the highest level after having been racing as a pro continental team for four years. The new status guarantees the participation of the French team in the biggest races on the calendar and this means that the French team will be back in the Tour Down Under for the first time since 2009.

 

Having put a bad 2013 season behind him, Thomas Voeckler is ready to turn things around in 2014 and he will start his season as early as possible. For the first time ever, the French darling will race under the Australian sun as he leads Europcar in the race.

 

Having been known as a race for the sprinters, the inclusion of a summit finish on the Willunga Hill has turned the race into one for the puncheurs. This could suit Voeckler well and the Frenchman has often started the season with all guns blazing, making him a winner candidate in the first WorldTour race of the season.

 

“Thomas Voeckler is one of the greatest French cyclists of his generation so we are thrilled he is making not only his debut at the Santos Tour Down Under but also his racing debut in Australia,” race director Mike Turtur said. “Voeckler’s climbing abilities make him especially suited to the 2014 route and he could be a strong contender for the Ochre Jersey.

 

“Having worn the Yellow Jersey at the Tour de France on two occasions and finishing fourth in 2011, Voeckler is an icon of the sport and I expect we will see a number of French flags throughout the race," Turtur added.

 

Fast finishers Kevin Reza and Yukiya Arashiro who is also an excellent puncheur, will be lead the Europcar charge in the sprints. The roster will be completed by talented Bjorn Thurau, Perrig Quemeneur, Angelo Tulik and Jerome Cousin who are all likely to make their presence felt in breakaways.

 

“This may be Europcar’s first year as a UCI Pro Tour team but they are bringing a strong lineup to Adelaide and we can expect plenty of attacking from them,” Turtur said.

 

The People's Choice Classic will take place on January 19 while the Tour Down Under will kick off for real two days later.

 

Europcar for the Tour Down Under

Thomas Voeckler (France), Perrig Quemeneur (France), Kévin Reza (France), Jérome Cousin (France), Angélo Tulik (France), Yukiya Arashiro (Japan) and Bjorn Thurau (Germany)

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