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Europcar Boss Praises His Riders Post Tour de France
2 Aug, 2011
On the completion of an extraordinary Tour de France for Team Europcar, Jean-René Bernaudeau said a few words of thanks about each of the riders in his team.

For him it's clear that the whole team, without exception, has been exceptional in their team effort and individual performances.

Thomas Voeckler: "Everything has already been said about his Tour which was quite simply extraordinary. He was a superb yellow jersey, he have happiness to fans all around the world for three weeks and showed that he was capable of riding alongside the very best. It is just a shame that he was not on the podium because he really deserved to go down in posterity for what he did. I think he needs some time off to digest what he has done and to relax with his family because this was a very moving but exhausting Tour for him."

Anthony Charteau: "At the start of the race he had targeted retaining the polka dot jersey he won last year but Thomas's yellow jersey obviously forced us to change these plans. Despite this, Anthony transformed himself into a super-domestique for Thomas, notably in the mountains where he supported him considerably. Despite a bad fall at the beginning of the third week, he finished the Tour really well."

Cyril Gautier: "When Thomas took the yellow jersey, he found himself in the role as teammate even though he came onto the race with free rein to seek out the breaks. With more freedom, he would have without a doubt been more prominent off the front of the peloton, but that said, he took on his new role as one of Thomas's main lieutenants with perfection. He will without a doubt be stronger next year, while the success of Pierre Rolland, his best friend, will have no doubt showed him that he too can make a similar impact."

Yohann Gène: "He did an incredible job throughout the Tour. He spent three weeks protecting Thomas from all the elements. He sheltered him from the wind, he pulled for long stints on the front of the bunch and he led by example. Thomas knows just what a formidable role he played on this Tour and has warmly thanked him for all his efforts."

Vincent Jérôme: "Vincent's Tour was very satisfying given the circumstances. He nearly left us in the first week after his accident in the Vendée. He was really unlucky and thought that his Tour was over. He rode in complete misery for 10 days but managed to get through the pain and from the Pyrenees onwards he worked so hard for the team. On the Galibier on Friday he was right alongside Thomas. All in all, he passed this test with flying colours."

Christophe Kern: "He was our leader at the start of the race. He came onto the Tour in great condition after a very strong performance in the Dauphiné and his victory in the French time trial championships. At Les Essarts in the TTT he was the strongest and he led the team by example with his determination. But then his tendinitis set in. We wanted him to stop the race because it's a condition which only gets better with rest and recuperation. We really missed him in the mountains where he would have brought enormous support to the team. Next year, he will be back with us and will be one of the foundations of the team."

Perrig Quemeneur: "He has been quite simply fabulous and silenced all those who didn't believe he had what it took to ride in the Tour de France. He broke down the mythical barriers with a long break right at the start of the race. He is an extremely balanced and honest guy who brings a lot to the team. He always does his job without any complaints and he particularly impressed me during the stage to Alpe d'Huez. His selection may have been a bit of a gamble, but the least I can say is that he gave us good reason to have taken the plunge with him."

Pierre Rolland: "What form Pierrot's in! His time trial at Grenoble showed that he's finished this Tour really strong and that he still had a lot of juice even at the end of the third week. He has a great ability to recover after a tough day in the saddle and his performances in the mountains confirmed all the qualities that he has already shown in the past. To have seen him win on Alpe d'Huez in front of Sanchez and Contador was just fantastic. We're not going to put any pressure on him about the future. We're just going to let him grow at his own pace and in his own space."

Sébastien Turgot: "He carried out his role perfectly. In the first week, he made some top tens in the sprints before becoming a super-domestique in the second week. The first hour of the race was the same for him every day. I cannot add up how many kilometres he did on the front of the bunch during this year's Tour. Once again he showed all his qualities as well as excellent condition, his huge motor, his passion and drive."

Click to enlarge...
Former TDF Yellow jersey wearer Jean-rené Bernaudeau

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