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Voeckler earns French Olympic spot

Tour de France race leader Thomas Voeckler, of the La Boulangere team, has won his place on France's Olympic team for the men's road race in Athens. Voeckler, who has given the hosts plenty to smile about on the race since taking the yellow jersey over a week ago from Lance Armstrong, is expected to hand it over to the American five-time winner in the near future. The 24-year-old Voeckler only has a 22-second lead on US Postal's team leader ahead of Tuesday's tough 180km stage over seven climbs in mountains south of the Alps. However Voeckler's feisty performances on the race, and

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By AFP

Tour de France race leader Thomas Voeckler, of the La Boulangere team, has won his place on France’s Olympic team for the men’s road race in Athens.

Voeckler, who has given the hosts plenty to smile about on the race since taking the yellow jersey over a week ago from Lance Armstrong, is expected to hand it over to the American five-time winner in the near future.

The 24-year-old Voeckler only has a 22-second lead on US Postal’s team leader ahead of Tuesday’s tough 180km stage over seven climbs in mountains south of the Alps.

However Voeckler’s feisty performances on the race, and especially during two tough days in the Pyrenees, proved enough for Patrick Cluzaud, the national selector, and France team coach Frederic Moncassin.

Voeckler will join veteran Laurent Brochard, Christophe Moreau, Richard Virenque and Sylvain Chavanel in the team for the August 13-29 Athens Olympics.

Of the five riders in the team, Brochard, Virenque and Moreau already have Olympics experience.

France will also line up Moreau and Brochard in the Olympic time trial.