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Thomas Voeckler

I'm back and getting to play with a proper keyboard!!

Anyway, first time in France for a tour in a long, long time and I have to say that despite not seeing as much as I hoped it was mindblowing.

Most of this is down to Thomas and the atmosphere he created in the Country throughout his time in Yellow. Every newspaper, every TV France news bulletin he was the headlines and he moved the people. As we spent our time doing the touristy stuff the effect was palpable, people talked about him everywhere and the excitement grew as we got to the end of the third week.

The disappointment when he lost yellow was also palpable but Thomas was still a hero to them all. France deserves a new Tour Champion because the way the country changes, the way the people change is incredible. We were in a bistro last Thursday when he crossed the line at the top of the Galibier, the roar when he crossed the line still in yellow will live with me always.

Chapeau Thomas


Sounds fantastic, Slapshot!  It was a tremendous Tour - in fact, I'm even going to go as far as saying it was better than 2003 when my man nearly did it.

He should have come third.

He should have come first!

Should?  Or you would have liked him to?
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Ultimately, I think all of us would like to see Thomas in Yellow in Paris. His barradour style and immense courage means there are not many that don't appreciate him.

I am still curious about what you found out about the French that you didn't know before, from your experience this trip.
Slapshot 3

Fontfroide wrote:
I am still curious about what you found out about the French that you didn't know before, from your experience this trip.

Nothing that new particularly FF, just the passion seemed more vivid. Maybe it's my age, maybe I'm more inclined towards that than the bike and beer trip last time. I was much younger more attuned to riding and drinking with mates than I was to interacting with the French, however this time was hugely different, watching French TV, drinking within a group of mixed largely anglo-French people from Airbus.

Awareness is maybe something that comes from age and if you couldn't be aware of the real passion of the French with a Frenchman in Yellow you had to be numb from the head down!

I would have dearly loved to have seen Voeckler win.

I don't think the French attitude has changed, it's just that this year they had something to cheer about and be proud of. What country isn't like that?

I even met an English women with 2 teenage kids who'd just arrived on Monday - after the TdF - and even she knew who Voecker was!!!! Now, that's a bit of a first if you ask me. I think the BBC News coverage of Cav and the Green Jersey alerted the British public to other cyclists and the TdF. However, ask any French housewife to name a cyclist they will be able to list several since it's part of the French culture and way of life that they know about the sport - it's inclusive, from babies to OAP's. I saw a 4 year old French girl at Stage 3 of the Tour with a cardboard cutout of a heart and Voeckler written on it. It's just class how the French embrass cycling.

And even more exciting is the performance of Rolland - stage win at Alpe d'Huez (ah sweet revenge for Bernadeau) and the white jersey - 2 Frenchmen top 10 and 5 in the top 15, including 2 white jersey wearers (Jeanneson & the winner Rolland) - when was the last time the French did so well? Arguably because either the race is 'cleaner' or at the least tightly controlled micro dosing under bio passport means doping makes less of a difference than it did in the 'superdoping' era?

Or are the French embrassing doping????
I hope not.

Sorry to do this MJ but I think the word you want is "embracing" - don't mean to be a dick but I thought you meant "embarrassing" at first and found it a little confusing.

Honestly no offence intended.

Cheers UF, I knew it didn't look right when I was typing it.

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