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Tour de Yorkshire Champion Returns to Yorkshire Coast

Voeckler Podium 2016

Published at 11:41am 2nd February 2017. (Updated at 11:59am 2nd February 2017)

Thomas Voeckler will return to defend his Tour de Yorkshire title this year.

He's been unveiled as the first star rider of the 2017 race. The Frenchman outsmarted Team Sky rider Nicolas Roche in a two way sprint for the overall victory at Scarborough's North Bay last year.

It was the highest profile success of the season for Voeckler, one of the most celebrated cyclists of generation. 

The 37 year old has also won four Tour de France stages, held the iconic yellow jersey for no less than 20 stages, and even topped the mountains classification in a glittering career.

Last September he announced plans to retire following this summer’s Tour de France, meaning the Tour de Yorkshire on 28-30 April will be his last-ever appearance on British soil.

As such, the Direct Énergie rider will be firing on all cylinders and cannot wait to return to the county which he holds in such fond regard.

The Frenchman said:

“I fell in love with the Tour de Yorkshire two years ago and it was a huge honour to win it after finishing third in 2015.

This race feels like home for me because the crowd are always shouting my name, holding up banners or writing it on the road. I have never seen anything like it.

I am looking forward to competing in Yorkshire one last time and I hope to have a major impact on the race, however I can.”

Welcome to Yorkshire Chief Executive Sir Gary Verity added:

“Thomas has been a tremendous ambassador for the Tour de Yorkshire so I am thrilled he will be on the start line again.

His swashbuckling style is a joy to behold and that tenacity has endeared him to supporters young and old.

Riders of his ilk are what makes the Tour de Yorkshire so special and we will have a stellar field lined up once again in April.

The word is now truly out on what a special and well supported race the Tour de Yorkshire is, and with the 2019 World Championships now firmly on the horizon, the interest in the race has never been higher.”

The Yorkshire Coast will play host to the opening of the Tour de Yorkshire 2017, with the first stage of the race starting in Bridlington and ending at Scarborough's North Bay.

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