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Voeckler, Rolland, Veilleux and Gautier all given the nod while 5 spots are still up for grabs

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CYRIL GAUTIER

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DAVID VEILLEUX

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DIRECT ENERGIE

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PIERRE ROLLAND

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THOMAS VOECKLER

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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17.06.2013 @ 16:24 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Team Europcar has officially selected the first 4 riders for their Tour de France roster as Thomas Voeckler, Pierre Rolland, David Veilleux and Cyril Gautier have all been given the nod. 5 spots are still up for grabs and will probably not be filled until after the French championships this weekend.

 

Team Europcar has made a habit of having success at the Tour de France. Ever since the car rental company took over the main sponsorship prior to the 2011 season, the team has delivered the goods in the world's biggest bike race.

 

In 2011, Thomas Voeckler wore the yellow jersey for 10 days and ultimately finished 4th while Pierre Rolland was best young rider and won the stage to l'Alpe d'Huez. Last year, Rolland once again won a big mountain stage in the Alps and finished 8th overall while Voeckler was king of the mountains and won a big stage in both the Alps and the Pyrenees.

 

The team has no main sponsor for next season and hopes to use a solid performance on the biggest scene of them all to attract attention from potential backers. Once again, Voeckler and Rolland are set to spearhead the team and both have now officially been given the nod to head to Corsica later this month.

 

Voeckler broke his collarbone in the Amstel Gold Race and crashed hard when he came back to competition in the Tour of Belgium. He bounced back from his bad luck by winning a stage in the Criterium du Dauphiné and he climbed solidly in the queen stage. Last week, he got the final confirmation of his good shape when he won the tough stage over Port de Bales and Col du Peyresourde in the Route du Sud, winning the race overall in the process.

 

Rolland usually has a quiet spring but this year he performed strongly. He used a win in the queen stage of the Circuit Cycliste Sarthe to take the overall win in the 4-day race and finished 10th in the Giro del Trentino. He most recently raced the Criterium du Dauphiné where he lost his overall hopes due to a crash and was caught close to the finish when he tried to bounce back with a long-distance attack in the queen stage. He failed to finish the race due to pain in his Achilles tendon.

 

David Veilleux and Cyril Gautier have both been selected to support their leaders. The former earned his spot by winning the first stage at the Dauphiné and by defending the overall lead for two days. He will make his grand tour debut on Corsica on June 29.

 

Gautier is a already an experienced Tour rider, having participated in the world's biggest race every year sin 2010. He is a relentless attacker and was close to taking a stage win when he finished 4th in stage 12 last year. This year he won the tough Breton race, the Tour du Finistere.

 

5 spots are still up for grabs and while the team has not announced when they will finalize their selection, the final names will probably not be known until after the French road race championships in the weekend.

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