Thomas Voeckler is regarded as a French national hero thanks to his scrappy, attacking style. With puffed out cheeks and a labored pedal stroke, the Direct Energie rider has been a fan favorite ever since his gutsy, 10-day defense of the yellow jersey in the 2004 Tour de France. Since then he has continued to animate races, especially the Tour, much to the chagrin of competitors and the adoration of his fans.
According to Direct Energie mechanic Arnaud Labbe, there are several details specific to Voeckler. The most obvious is the installation of only one water bottle cage. Voeckler never uses two. It’s a personal preference and one that is shared by very few in the peloton.
Voeckler also uses a custom Prologo Scratch Pro saddle, with a bit more padding than the stock model. He uses Prologo’s Nack carbon rails. Prologo also provides the coordinating bar tape, a nice rubbery tape excellent for the wet days in the Tour’s opening stages in Normandy.
The Frenchman also uses FSA derailleur pulleys to save a watt or two. To keep the front derailleur secure, look closely to find a small piece of emory cloth installed between the chain catcher and frame hanger.
With one ultimately unsuccessful attack under his belt on Stage 3, it’s hard to imagine that we’ve seen the last of the popular Frenchman in this year’s Tour.