The future of French cycling was paying homage to a legend of recent French cycling in the breakaway on stage 16 of the Tour de France.
Julian Alaphilippe (Etixx-Quick Step), who has impressed greatly with his performances in the Classics and stage races in the past two years, imitated Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie) while riding out the front with his teammate Tony Martin.
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The eccentric Voeckler is known for his animated riding style, which Alaphilippe mimicked while trying to hold Martin’s relentless pace in the break – sticking his tongue out and wobbling his head like the 37-year-old does.
Alaphilippe dug into the impressions box on stage 15 as well, getting the full Voeckler head wobble on while riding alongside Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) in the breakaway.
There are worse people for Alaphilippe to look up to than Voeckler – the 2012 King of the Mountains at the Tour, who wore yellow for nine stages in 2011 on his way to fourth overall.