Veteran Thomas Voeckler and French compatriot and climbing specialist Pierre Rolland will lead Europcar’s challenge in this year’s Tour de France, which gets underway in Porto Vecchio, Corsica, on Saturday.
Europcar named their team today for the race that runs till July 21.
Voeckler, 34, has won four stages in the Tour and finished as King of the Mountains in 2012, while his best overall finish was fourth in 2011.
Rolland, 26, has won two stages on the Tour, including the iconic climb to Alpe d’Huez in 2011 when he also won the best young rider title and last year finished eighth overall.
Frenchman Cyril Gautier and Davide Malacarne of Italy will be tasked with helping Rolland, who the team see as their most likely challenger in the general classification while the team’s sporting director Sebastien Joly said Voeckler would be allowed to do as he pleases.
The team will also give three riders their debuts in the race, Canadian David Veilleux, who won the first stage of the Criterium du Dauphine, and French duo Jerome Cousin and Kevin Reza.
“They have all come of age,” said Joly. “But they are not novices, they have already competed in major races.”
Yukiya Arashiro (JPN), Jerome Cousin (FRA), Cyril Gautier (FRA), Yohann Gene (FRA), Davide Malacarne (ITA), Kevin Reza (FRA), Pierre Rolland (FRA), David Veilleux (CAN), Thomas Voeckler (FRA)