A stage victory at the Critérium du Dauphiné last week helped David Veilleux punch his ticket for a start at the Tour de France.
The 25-year-old Quebecois confirmed on his website that Europcar has selected him to race the Tour, which begins June 29 on Corsica.
“It’s now official, my team chose me to participate in the 2013 Tour de France,” Veilleux wrote. “I am extremely pleased by this news. I’m living a childhood dream and all my years of perseverance and discipline are being rewarded.”
Veilleux, who joined Europcar in 2011, will become the first Quebec-born cyclist to race the Tour.
Veilleux obviously quickly adjusted to the demands of the European peloton.
He enjoyed a solid 2012 season, riding in the main breakaway at Paris-Roubaix for the second year in a row, and later winning the Tre Valli Varesine semi-classic.
After a busy spring classics season in 2013, he’s shown solid form over the past month, finishing second in stage 2 at the Rhone-Alpes-Isere tour in May, and then scoring his biggest win of his pro career with a victory in stage 1 at the Critérium du Dauphiné.
Veilleux attacked out of a breakaway in a hilly, challenging course around Champéry to take the win and the leader’s jersey by nearly two minutes. He held the lead for three days, eventually finishing 60th behind winner Chris Froome (Sky).
That performance helped seal the deal for Europcar brass.
The French outfit will bring Pierre Rolland, who is looking to improve on his eighth overall last year, and perennial attacker Thomas Voeckler, who also snagged a stage win at the Dauphiné.
Other Canadians likely to start include Svein Tuft (Orica-GreenEdge) and Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp), who crashed heavily at the Tour de Suisse. Garmin officials are still waiting to see how he recovers before making a decision on whether he’ll be able to start the Tour.