The Voeckler Enigma

Thomas Voeckler — Tommy Voeckler to Paul and Phil took his second stage of this year’s tour thanks to a well timed attack. Voeckler first put his stamp on the tour in 2004 when he took, and then defended the yellow jersey for twelve days, something no one expected. He repeated that feat last year with another brilliant run in yellow.

To fans of the sport Voeckler is known for his panache, often going on the attack and taking solo stage wins. Here is a fine example from Stage 8 in the 2011 edition of Paris – Nice

Pretty sweet riding. I especially like how he bunny hops to get the water off his wheel. But attacks and solo breaks aren’t the only things that make Voeclker a joy to watch, there are also the weird facial expressions. Including the one that has him labeled as the “French house wife’s favorite”. However, that’s not the whole story.

Rumor has it that Voeckler is less than liked in the PRO peloton. The elements that we love in his racing get him labeled as a showboat.  This rumor first came to my attention during last year’s tour when, while in yellow, he asked everyone to take it easy on a descent, then promptly attacked. Shaddy for sure, but when it comes to the fan’s perspective, he’s mostly right on.

Let’s assume for a moment that what everyone peloton is right. Voeckler is a showboating ass. Sport is spectacle. Voeckler seems to embody that. The riders of peloton don’t need to like it. Hell we don’t need to like. But we all seem to.

 

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