- Thomas Voeckler's custom built and painted Colnago C59, ready to roll into the Alps. Photo: Caley Fretz
- The C59 has internally ribbed top and down tubes to increase stiffness. Photo: Caley Fretz
- It seems that last year's Chaingate has scared most pros into using chain catchers this year. Photo: Caley Fretz
- Hutchinson badge, but what's underneath? These look like Veloflex casings. Photo: Caley Fretz
- Voeckler perches atop a Prologo Scratch Pro TR with carbon rails. Photo: Caley Fretz
- Yellow accents and bar tape on Voeckler's FSA Plasma integrated bar/stem. The stem is 120mm long. Photo: Caley Fretz
- Voeckler prefers to use only one bottle cage on the downtube. The unique shape of the downtube of his C59 is visible here, too. Photo: Caley Fretz
- Le coq gaullois, a symbol of France. Voeckler is a proud Frenchman, and the French people are obviously proud of him - the cheers are deafening at sign-in every morning. Photo: Caley Fretz
- The sealed Gore cables and housing will be much appreciated given the rain at the start of stage 16. Photo: Caley Fretz
- Voeckler prefers quite a bit of lever throw before his brakes engage. Photo: Caley Fretz
- Few have the honor of looking down at a cockpit like this during the Tour de France. Photo: Caley Fretz
- Voeckler is notorious for riding without power meters or even a heart rate monitor. He does use a regular cycling computer, though. This one is from Sigma. Photo: Caley Fretz
- Crowds packed in to see Voeckler before the start, and to oggle his bike. Photo: Caley Fretz
- A Chorus front derailleur is an odd choice - perhaps needed to bring Voeckler's bike up to the weight limit, or perhaps Voeckler believes it shifts better. Mechanics wouldn't say. Photo: Caley Fretz
- An 11-25 11-speed cassette for most mountain stages. Photo: Caley Fretz
- Yellow accents on the Prologo saddle. Photo: Caley Fretz
- Internal cable routing through the front triangle provides a clean look and helps preserve smooth shifting, too. Photo: Caley Fretz
Within minutes of the conclusion of stage 9, where Thomas Voeckler came across the line seconds behind Luis Leon Sanchez to claim the third yellow jersey of this year’s Tour, a second race was just beginning in Cambiago, Italy. Europcar bike sponsor Colnago had just a day to outfit its new champion with a frame befitting the occasion: all yellow, with le coq gaullois (the Gallic rooster, an unofficial national symbol of France) painted proudly on the seat tube.
Colnago won that race, building and painting Voeckler’s C59 frame during the rest day before driving it to his team hotel in Aurillac (over 800 kilometers) for the stage 10 start.
Along with the one-off paint job, Voeckler prefers custom geometry on his C59. His mechanic explained that the frame is a 50cm with sloping geometry but is built with a 1cm longer top tube than normal — 54cm instead of 53.
Build is the Europcar standard, but with a few yellow flourishes. The FSA Plasma integrated bar/stem has yellow accents, his Prologo saddle gets a yellow wing, and his Elite bottle cage is yellow. Voeckler rides with only one bottle cage, preferring to take more frequent feeds rather than hold an extra bottle. The drivetrain is Campagnolo Super Record, and Voeckler prefers Campagnolo’s shallow Hyperon Ultra Two climbing wheelset for most stages.