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"I wanted to get some kilometres under my belt and for my shoulder to be fine as well. I didn't have any issues at all with the shoulder. It's just the legs that are the problem now. I've got to sort them out next," Th...

Photo: Sirotti






20.02.2014 @ 19:37 Posted by Aleksandra Górska

As it was initially announced in the beginning of the month, Thomas Voeckler has finally kicked off his 2014 season at Volta ao Algarve yesterday, after an unfortunate training crash on the eve of Santos Tour Down under left the willy Frenchman with a broken collarbone but no hopes for debuting in the Australian World Tour event.


Voeckler came back to France and undergone a successful surgery of his right collarbone, previously broken last year in a consequence of a crash he experienced at the Amstel Gold Race.


There was some confusion regarding when Veockler is going to return to competition and more then one week ago it was officially announced that the Europcar leader will participate in the Tour Mediteraneen. In the end, however, the Frenchman sticked to the initial plan and kicked off the 2014 season in Portugal.


As it was expected, Voeckler’s name was to be found at the very bottom of the stage results during the first two days of the competition at the Volta ao Algarve, as the Frenchman was enjoying his slow start to the racing season without creating any unreasonable pressure.


The Europcar leader exposed his broad smile while crossing the finish line in Albufeira on the first day of the competition, over two minutes down to the unsurprising stage winner, Sacha Modolo of Lampre-Merida.


"It was a very good day and very good weather which is nice," Voeckler told Cyclingnews at the stage one finish.


"It's really good for me to be here and be able to get a bit of form after being injured in Australia."


"For me, the objective I came here with has been achieved," he said.


"I wanted to get some kilometres under my belt and for my shoulder to be fine as well. I didn't have any issues at all with the shoulder. It's just the legs that are the problem now. I've got to sort them out next."


Unsirprisingly, today’s second stage running through some very lumpy territory between Lagoa and Monchique, covering the distance of 196km, provided a tougher test for the French rider as he finished on 141 position, more than 12 minutes behind Michał Kwiatkowski of Omega Pharma-Quick Step showing a stellar form from the beginning of the season. This was, however, the kind of racing the Europcar leader needs most in order to build a proper disposition towards the Ardennes Classics.



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