Thomas Voeckler and his many faces

Physically, it looks like there’s something wrong with Thomas Voeckler. His torso’s too small and the effect’s compounded by the way he rolls and writhes on his bike, like he’s trying to work half a dozen acorns out of his arse crack using only his buttock muscles.

Mentally, it look like there’s something wrong with Thomas Voeckler. It’s the faces.

When Tommy Voeckler’s out ahead of the bunch – and he often is, frequently on his own – he winces and gurns and spends an astonishing amount of time trying to control his unruly tongue which acts like an inquisitive snake and seemingly has a mind of its own. Combined with the rustic pedalling technique, you’d think he’d be wasting energy. Maybe he is, but his solution is to just endure the extra suffering. What’s another drop of pain, after all?

Voeckler’s approach to racing revolves around sheer grit and lofty ambitions. As a viewer, I’m glad of him. There’s a lot of riders playing it safe in the peloton and Voeckler’s a glorious risk-taker – only somehow it never seems that much of a risk with him. He always seems to make his rides count.