THE RACE OF HISLIF Thomas Voeckler

The first Tour 2003

After two years as a pro, the promising baroudeur got his first chance to ride the Tour in 2003. He’d already won the Classic Loire Atlantique and overall at the Tour of Luxembourg before he headed to Paris for the grand départ

THE Tour is a dream when you are young, but when you go professional it just happens. My first Tour de France was the centenary Tour, and I especially remember the start in Paris, under the Eiffel Tower. I have good memories of it, though there was a lot of suffering as well, as I was unable to influence the race.

I managed to make a breakaway on stage 18, when I finished seventh, but that’s the only good memory I have of this Tour, really. Of course, it was an achievement to

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