Thomas Voeckler and Brice Feillu to begin 2011 campaigns at GP La Marsellaise
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Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Thomas Voeckler and Brice Feillu to begin 2011 campaigns at GP La Marsellaise

by Jered Gruber at 11:29 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 
French duo to debut with classic French opener

France's current cycling hero, Thomas Voeckler, will make his 2011 season debut with Jean-Rene Bernaudeau's freshly sponsored Europcar team at the traditional French opening race, the Grand Prix d'Ouverture La Marseillaise according to Cyclism'Actu. Voeckler has enjoyed success in the past at the GP La Marseillaise highlighted by a a runner-up finish to Cofidis's Remy Pauriol in 2009.

Following the GP Marseillaise, Voeckler will take on the Etoile de Besseges, a race he won in 2009 just days after his second place at the GP Marseillaise.

Voeckler enjoyed arguably the best season of his career in 2010 with wins at the GP de Quebec, Stage 15 of the Tour de France, and the French National Championships, along with 2nd in Stage 12 of the Giro (and 23rd overall), 2nd in Stage 7 of Paris-Nice, 4th in Stage 7 of the Tour de France, 6th at the Brabantse-Pijl, and 10th at Liege-Bastogne-Liege, to go along with innumerable other top placings.

The 31 year old has been steadily improving since his breakout 2004 season, where he spent ten days in the Maillot Jaune. Voeckler has made a name for himself as a powerful, aggressive rider, and stage wins in both the 2009 and 2010 Tour de France along with a penchant for great rides in home races has made him a hero in France.

Along with Voeckler, another one of France's top racers will be making his debut in new team colors at the GP La Marseillaise as well: Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project's Brice Feillu. Feillu recently spoke to France Soir and revealed his early season agenda. Feillu will start at the GP La Marseillaise on January 30th, then head to the Etoile Besseges, before taking part in what will certainly be one of his early season highlights, the Race to the Sun, Paris-Nice.

"If I can play my own card, the Giro d'Italia and Paris-Nice may be possibilities."

Feillu isn't getting too far ahead of himself though - he's just looking to show himself: "I'm not talking about the win, but I at least hope to do well."

The 25 year old rider shot to prominence with a brilliant solo victory at Arcalis in the 2009 Tour de France, but spent a frustrating year outside of the welcoming grasp of the sport's Grand Tours in 2010 with Vacansoleil.

Feillu's signing with the Luxembourg Pro Cycling Project will see the rider back to the fore and into cycling's biggest races in 2011, where the glimpses of brilliance seen in 2009 will hopefully turn into a permanent view.

 

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