Thursday, July 21, 2011

un heros de le Tour de France, Pierre Rolland...

Whatever scenario plays out in the Tour de France during tomorrow's mammoth race finishing on Alpe d'Huez, there is a rider who has excelled above and beyond the call of duty, who has done much to animate the race and who, if there were an award given to the race's foremost Super Domestique, would be the clear front runner. That racer, in my opinion is Thomas Voeckler's lieutenant at Team Europcar, Pierre Rolland. Check back through the daily results beginning with stage 12, to Luz Ardiden, the first day in the Pyrenees. Voeckler had won the Yellow Jersey on stage 9, and it had become the job of the Europcar riders to see him safely through each day without losing time to any Yellow Jersey hopefuls.

It is very telling that on each stage, between 12 and today's 18, that Rolland either finished with the same time as Voeckler, or was the nearest Europcar rider to him, meaning that he was the last teammate to leave his leaders side, the last to give that final push of effort, to aid Voeckler in defense of the Jersey. Rolland's story in this Tour is nearly as compelling as Voeckler's. While the spotlight may be rightly, and firmly focused on Voeckler, certainly some the brightness should deservedly be reflected onto Monsieur Pierre Rolland.

Rolland is still a young rider, born in 1986, but will be on everyone's radar following this Tour. He has been a pro since 2007, riding two years with Credit Agricole, and since 2009 with Bbox Bouygues Telecom and its successor teams including Europcar. He has twice won mountain classification titles, in 2008 at the Criterium du Dauphine Libere, and 2010 at the Criterium International. Various stage wins over the past few years, as well as top ten placings, point to a promising future. Pierre Rolland is the type of rider every team leader would want by his side, but don't expect it to last; rather expect to see him as team leader in the near future. I know I have been saying Allez! a lot lately over on my Thomas Voeckler post daily updates, but today I am giving an extra one to Pierre Rolland. Allez Pierre!

Update. Yes, it is official, Rolland has just won the Alpe d'Huez stage, and claimed the White Jersey for best rider in the Tour under 26. Very nice. The last Frenchman to win on the Alpe was Bernard Hinaut, and that was in 1986. 


  1. He has been awesome. I'm quite surprised at the absence of johan van summeren from Garmin. I know that they had alot of bullets in the chamber to pick from, maybe too many. But he is also the ultimate work horse,always sacraficing himself.

  2. Great thoughts you got there, believe I may possibly try just some of it throughout my daily life.

    LED luzes de rack


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