Coach of the France team for four years, Thomas Voeckler won over his riders like Julian Bernard, who mentioned the method of the French coach, who remained very close to his riders.
This time the plan didn’t work. Blame it on a huge Remco Evenepoel, irresistible on Sunday in Wollongong. And if some did not fail to point out certain tactical errors of the France group, Thomas Voeckler is convinced that the outcome would have been the same whatever the plan as the Belgian prodigy was above the lot. The Blues could nevertheless console with the silver medal of Christophe Laporte. A place of vice-world champion full of opportunism which nevertheless comes to participate in the legend of Thomas Voeckler, who now displays two world titles and a second place in only four participations.
The success of the Blues since the former Europcar rider took office does not surprise Julien Bernard, selected by the Alsatian for the World Championships in 201ç and 2020, where he contributed to the coronation of Julian Alaphilippe. “Thomas puts emotion into the lyrics. You have the impression of living the race from the briefing. Thomas is very close to the runners. He manages to interfere in the group and ensure that there are no riders on one side and the sports director on the other. Thomas, you have the impression that he is part of the group, he pointed out to Eurosport. You almost feel like he’s going to ride the bike with you the next day in the peloton. It’s something he does quite well. This is what I really liked the years when I was in the France team. »
We are all capable of getting high for a medal
And according to the Trek-Segafredo runner, the state of mind displayed by Thomas Voekler has a lot to do with the success of the Blues. “It contributes to the unity of the French team, to the fact that we are all capable of getting high for a medal, for a world champion jersey, he pointed out. When I see the photo at the finish with Christophe (Laporte), Benoît (Cosnefroy), Valentin (Madouas), Romain (Bardet) or Julian (Alaphilippe), everyone super happy around Christophe, that’s what means. »
The son of Jean-François Bernard also underlined this collective strength of the Blues. “It makes me happy when I see this photo after the line. It shows the spirit of the band and that’s something important. I think it’s something we have in France. We created this group France which works rather well with the two titles of Julian. But beyond that, when you meet these riders in the peloton the rest of the year, you talk to them, you know their life, not just the riders. They are friends. »