Team BBox managed to get two thumbs up from team boss Jean-René Bernaudeau for its performance at the 2010 Paris-Nice event, but team leader Thomas Voeckler earns a “disappointed” vote from Bernaudeau as he suffered yet another run of bad luck.
Bernaudeau says that he is “hugely satisfied” by Team BBox’s performance overall. “It’s been a beautiful week. We’ve proved that we’re a great team, that we’re better than last year. I’m really proud of the boys,” adds the team boss. Bernaudeau’s spirits were obviously lifted by his rider William Bonnet’s stage victory at Limoges, plus the outstanding performance of 22-year-old rider Cyril Gautier in the climbs, which strongly boosted his position from 70th to 18th overall.
However, Team BBox leader Thomas Voeckler failed to share in the spotlight as he suffered a string of unfortunate mishaps that cost him dearly. His hopes of a strong top-10 finish at Paris-Nice were dashed to the ground by a flat tire at stage 5. Although the incident happened 25 kilometers away from the finish line, Voeckler never managed to catch up to the front pack again.
Voeckler again tried to improve his standings as he gave a strong and aggressive fight to Xavier Tondo at the next stage. Tondo eventually won that stage, and Voeckler tried again at the final stage with an attack, paired by Amael Moinard of Team Cofidis. The two fought each other as well as the peloton behind them all the way to the finish line, but Voeckler dropped the ball in the closing sprint and ended up leading Moinard to the victory.
BBox team boss Bernaudeau waxed philosophical about the result of that contest, saying that “It’s a real pity, but I congratulate Moinard. I think Thomas was the strongest, but that’s racing.”
Bernaudeau, however, is appreciative of the team’s overall efforts, mentioning that he is currently looking for a replacement to Bouygues Telecom, and that he is scheduled to meet with at least three other potential sponsors this month. From his perspective, then, the team’s performance at Paris-Nice couldn’t have come at a better time.
Image courtesy of PhotoTours in Paris