Cycling: Frenchman Voeckler to debut in Tour Down Under

SYDNEY (AFP) - French star Thomas Voeckler will race the Tour Down Under for the first time when his Europcar team make their debut in Australia's leading cycling event in late January.

Race director Mike Turtur said Voeckler's climbing abilities make him well suited to the 2014 route in and around Adelaide.

"Having worn the yellow jersey at the Tour de France on two occasions and finishing fourth in 2011, Voeckler is an icon of the sport," Turtur said.

Europcar's team also includes German Bjorn Thurau, who won the mountains classification at the 2013 Tour de Luxembourg, and former Japanese road race champion Yukiya Arashiro.

Australia's Cadel Evans, the 2011 Tour de France overall winner, will also be competing in his home tour for the BMC Racing Team.

The six-stage UCI World Tour event takes place in South Australia from Jan 19-26.