sabato 25 luglio 2015

Tour de France 2015 Sum Up

Embedded image permalinkI'm typing on my phone in a cosy room in the Rinner Hotel on the Ritten Highland. It's all dark outside, the Alps are asleep. The Tour is over with a last victorious sprint by André Greipel. On wet rainy crowded boulevards.
I can't write here but I prepared a kind of short Sum Up.

GREAT
1 Chris Froome: strong smart and kind 
2 André Greipel: basicly won every sprint. 
3 Peter Sagan: no win but a Green Jersey conquered in daily breaks on any terrain.
4 Joaquim Rodriguez: no GC but hey!  Two great stages!
5 Bauke Mollema: a great TdF by a stubborn Dutch who fought every day and gave everything.
6 Simon Yates: a great debout!
7 Mathias Frank: over his limits.
8 Robert Gesink: not only a good GC but often in front with the main contenders.
9 Cyril Gautier: how much did he work?! Priceless.
10 ALL Team Sky: no win without a great team devoted to its leader.
11 ALL AG2R: great leaders and fantastic team workers achieved great results. 
12 Bob Jungels: simply impressive 
13 Serge Pauwels: always on the attack 
14 ALL Qhubeka:  honoured the wild card and Africa  with a win and some days in Polka Dot Jersey 
GOOD 
They won a stage even if fell short as far as GC or Jersey 
DENNIS Rohan
MARTIN Tony
STYBAR Zdenek
CAVENDISH Mark
VUILLERMOZ Alexis
MAJKA Rafał
VAN AVERMAET Greg
CUMMINGS Stephen
PLAZA MOLINA Rubén
GESCHKE Simon
BARDET Romain
NIBALI Vincenzo
PINOT Thibaut

SO SO
GC contenders but achieved nothing or few. 
1. Nairo Quintana: White can't be enough Waited too long. 
2. Alejandro Valverde: podium ok but often looked working for Froome 
3. Alberto Contador: not in perfect shape after his win in Giro. 
4 Pierre Rolland
5 Andrew Talansky  
6 Samuel Sanchez


BAD
1. Rigoberto Uran 
2. John Degebkolb 

UNLUCKY
They were hoping for good but crashed or similar 
1. Geraint Thomas
2. Warren Barguil
3. Michael Matthew
4. Jakob Fulsang
5. Vincenzo Nibali

RESULTS
04.07 Stage 1 (ITT) - Utrecht › Utrecht DENNIS Rohan DENNIS Rohan 13.8
05.07 Stage 2 - Utrecht › Neeltje Jans GREIPEL André CANCELLARA Fabian 166
06.07 Stage 3 - Antwerpen › Huy RODRíGUEZ Joaquim FROOME Christopher 159.5
07.07 Stage 4 - Seraing › Cambrai MARTIN Tony MARTIN Tony 223.5
08.07 Stage 5 - Arras › Amiens GREIPEL André MARTIN Tony 189.5
09.07 Stage 6 - Abbeville › Le Havre STYBAR Zdenek MARTIN Tony 191.5
10.07 Stage 7 - Livarot › Fougères CAVENDISH Mark FROOME Christopher 190.5
11.07 Stage 8 - Rennes › Mûr-de-bretagne VUILLERMOZ Alexis FROOME Christopher 181.5
12.07 Stage 9 (TTT) - Vannes › Plumelec BMC Racing Team FROOME Christopher 28
14.07 Stage 10 - Tarbes › La Pierre-Saint-Martin FROOME Christopher FROOME Christopher 167
15.07 Stage 11 - Pau › Cauterets MAJKA Rafał FROOME Christopher 188
16.07 Stage 12 - Lannemezan › Plateau de Beille RODRíGUEZ Joaquim FROOME Christopher 195
17.07 Stage 13 - Muret › Rodez VAN AVERMAET Greg FROOME Christopher 198.5
18.07 Stage 14 - Rodez › Mende CUMMINGS Stephen FROOME Christopher 178.5
19.07 Stage 15 - Mende › Valence GREIPEL André FROOME Christopher 183
20.07 Stage 16 - Bourg-de-Péage › Gap PLAZA Rubén FROOME Christopher 201
22.07 Stage 17 - Digne-Les-Bains › Pra-Loup GESCHKE Simon FROOME Christopher 161
23.07 Stage 18 - Gap › St-Jean-de-Maurienne BARDET Romain FROOME Christopher 186.5
24.07 Stage 19 - St-Jean-de-Maurienne › La Toussuire - Les Sybelles NIBALI Vincenzo FROOME Christopher 138
25.07 Stage 20 - Modane › l'Alpe d'Huez PINOT Thibaut FROOME Christopher 110.5
26.07 Stage 21 - Sèvres GREIPEL André  FROOME Christopher 109.5
26.07 General Classification 1 FROOME 2. QUINTANA 3. VALVERDE
JERSEYS
Yellow: Froome
Green: Sagan
Polka Dot: Froome
White: Quintana
TOP 20
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 81:56:33  
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:01:12  
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:25  
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:08:36  
5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:09:48
..............................  
6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:10:47  
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:15:14  
8 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:15:39  
9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:16:00  
10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:17:30  
...............................
11 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:22:06  
12 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:22:50  
13 Serge Pauwels (Bel) MTN - Qhubeka 0:31:03  
14 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:31:15  
15 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:31:39  
16 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:38:52  
...................................
17 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo 1:02:51  
18 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1:05:00  
19 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling 1:09:08  
20 Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 1:16:36

TdF 20: Last but not Least



Climbin (again) la Croix de Fer. There is a break-away: Bak, Edet, Geniez and Navardauskas. 
58 km to go they have 5'17", behind Team Astana and Team Movistar already opened the dance and Geniez decide to go solo. 
Embedded image permalinkA few tentative move, then Valverde attacks. Nobody react. Team Sky keep a regular pace with Roche and Porte escorting Froome.
Serpa attacks too. From behind, on conter, Nairo Quintana gets off at a double speed, bridges to Serpa, drops him and joins Valverde.
Embedded image permalinkFroome is solo on Porte's wheel and they are chasing but still on a very regular pace. Nibali hangs on. Contador doesn't. Poels and Roche got immediately dropped. 
KOM: Geniez wins it, then the rest of the break, then Quintana. Nibali drops Froome and jumps on Valverde's wheel. 
Embedded image permalinkDescent: the four riders gathers in front and many riders are coming back, including Thomas, Poels, Porte, Roche, Contador, Majka, Rodriguez, Kruijswijk, Mollema, Jungels, Scarponi, Fuglsang, the Yates brothers, De Gendt...
Hesjedal gets a gap, Anacona, Pinot, Rolland, Serpa and Molina follow. Quite soon they catch Navardauskas, then Bak and Edet.
Embedded image permalinkGeniez crooses solo the intermediate sprint. His advantage is 3'46".
Alpe d'Huez: fight for positions like in a classic in the Yellow Jersey group. And Team Sky wins.
Embedded image permalinkFlat back tyre for Nibali, he changes the bike and three mates help him back. So he starts the Alps at the back: not ideal. 
In front Quintana attacks. Porte chases him down and Froome is quickly back.
Flat back tyre for Frank. 
Navardauskas caught, Quintana attacks again. Poels chases him down.
Embedded image permalinkIn front Hesjedal attacks the break, Pinot on his wheel.
Behind Nibali is chasing solo. The main peloton exploded so he can jump from group to group.
Quintana attacks again. Caught. Valverde attacks. Goes! Quintana attacks again. GOES! Together Valverde and Quintana fly up the Alps.
Embedded image permalinkIn front Hesjedal and Pinot caught Geniez. 
Contador is dropped. Nibali is chasing far down with Mollema.
Quintana drops Valverde and jumps on Anacona's wheel.
Embedded image permalinkFroome keeps going on a regular pace with Porte and Poels. Nibali and Mollema has caught Contador an Majka and they can unite their forces together.
Massive crowd. Scary.
Quintana can't gain enough to win the Tour so he speeds up to win the stage. He joins and drops Geniez and then Hesjedal. 
Froome still stays on Porte's wheel. Pinot wins. Last km also for Quintana and behind Froome is on his own. Valverde is like his shadow.
Embedded image permalink1'20'' + 6'' is the gain for Nairo Quintana. Chris Froome has won his second Tour de France.
Bravo Bauke Mollema: 7th overall! Impressive Simon Yates: 11 overall aged 22!

Thibaut Pinot:
Embedded image permalink"I wanted to get to Paris with no regrets and I’ve done that now by winning. Now I can celebrate and hold my head high. It’s my third win of 2015 and my third mountain top finish after also winning in Romandie and the Tour de Suisse. I’m proud of that and think it shows the kind of rider I am. 
Maybe a stage win looks less than third place in 2014 but it’s a positive Tour de France for me and an interesting one for my future. I usually chase attacks and follow the favourites but after the crashes, I became attacker myself.
Embedded image permalinkFor the French, l’Alpe d’Huez is one of the most prestigious finishes for a French rider. It was definitely a beautiful stage to win.
We had a lot of trouble in the first week, but we knew that we were going to fight until the end and I feel that we deserve this victory, and it’s great for the team. We had a tough race losing William Bonnet and then Steve Morabito. It took us time to overcome the shock of William’s nasty crash. I’ve also been sick and had a mechanical on the cobbles. My morale was pretty low after the first four or five days but managed to focus again thanks to a good atmosphere in the team. I need a friendly atmosphere in the team to perform, and we had that at FDJ.
When Bardet won I was disappointed with my own performance but it was the day after my crash on the descent of the Col d’Allos. But crashes and punctures are part of cycling and makes it a beautiful sport. Getting back up and winning is important.”

Richie Porte:
Embedded image permalink‏"Congratulations to my friend @chrisfroome on his second #tdf. The support out there was incredible especially on the Dutch corner #thanks"

Luke Durbridge:

Embedded image permalink"Special day on Alpe d'Huez today. Crowds were awesome!! Onto Paris tomorrow to finish my 2nd #tdf #beenatoughone"

Alexandre Geniez:
"S'echapper�� passer la croix de fer en tête, ptit plaisir dans la descente, attaquer lalpe 1er��et aider @ThibautPinot a gagner��

Embedded image permalink@EquipeFDJ"

Chris Froome:
"It's unreal. I'm sure I haven't quite take it all on board yet. It's an unbelievable feeling to be sitting here still wearing this jersey.
Embedded image permalinkThere were so many things going through my mind going up that last climb. There were moments where I thought, 'hold on a second I could be in danger here'. But then always having my team-mates with me and having Wout and Richie there all the way until the end. Especially after the job all the guys had done today. I thought of all the sacrifices and the weeks of training camps. Time away from my wife and my family. Everything starts going through your head and I was on my limit there. I was hurting going up that last climb. But I just had to find something else just to keep pushing and get through today. It was only 110km but it felt like it was 300! It was such a hard stage!"
Embedded image permalink

Geraint Thomas:

"Fatty's leg."

Arnaud Demare:

"Merci #Alpesdhuez, j'ai du recevoir plus de 1000 fessés en me disant "Thibaut a gagné!!!!!" Je n'ai pas vu l'ascension passé."

Warren Barguil:

Embedded image permalink"Merci à tous pour ces encouragements malgré 2 jours galère j'ai pris énormément de plaisir durant ces 3 semaines #merci #jereviendrais"
Embedded image permalink“I rode a very strong final climb. It’s too bad I finish the Tour with two not so strong days but I am happy to ride on the Champs-Élysées tomorrow and I hope we can close this Tour successfully with a perfect sprint preparation for John [Degenkolb].”

Joaquim Rodríguez:

"Uno de los @letour mas duros que recuerdo!! Enhorabuena a todos,del primero al último!! Mañana a disfrutar de París!!"
Embedded image permalink

Simon Yates:
Embedded image permalink“I had done a recon of this climb, my brother wasn’t able to, and I think it showed at the end. He really tried to dig deep and hold onto the favourites. With the wind, it was a big headwind today, once he was dropped he was on his own and that takes its toll. Because I’d done the recon, I knew the climb a bit more, I knew to save it until near the end and I made a really big push with just over three kilometres to go.”

Bauke Mollema:
"7th! Happy to finish the Tour like this on the Dutch mountain. Thanks for all the support!! #TDF2015"
“Already in the first climb Frank did not look so good, so I was confident that I would pass him because Alpe d’Huez is such a hard climb and if you are not in good shape anymore it’s quite easy to take 45 seconds back.
And Bardet I was not sure of because he was looking really strong, but then already at the bottom of Alpe d’Huez, after 2k of climbing, I saw already he was suffering. That gave me even extra morale because I knew I was going to move to seventh place.
Embedded image permalinkOn the first climb my legs were good. But I was not 100 percent sure I would also have good legs on Alpe d’Huez. It was a headwind and I was with Nibali the whole time, we had good collaboration. We caught Contador, then at the end Nibali wasn’t racing anymore, but I was, so I pulled. 
I had a good day, it was short but really hard with the two climbs, especially the first one which was 30kms – that was really long and hard. On Alpe d’Huez with all the Dutch people that gave me something extra today. I felt quite good. I followed Nibali and we were riding together, and in the end we slowed down  a little bit and the rest of the group came back, but I am happy to move to seventh place.”

Robert Gesink:
“The pace was already very high on the first climb. I really had to push in that part of the race and I didn’t recover completely in the flat part in between the mountains. I have to thank Steven Kruijswijk again. He did a terrific job. I didn’t collapse in the end and was able to fight back to Nibali. I was exhausted in the last weeks. I’m glad that today was the last day. It’s finished, fortunately.
Embedded image permalinkThat’s a superb result. I don’t think that I’m realising the worth of it. All the big guns for this year’s overall were able to stay in the Tour de France. That makes it even more special.”

Bram Tankink:
Embedded image permalink“The five riders who finished above him have all won a big tour once in their lives. That proves how unique his performance is. I take my hat off with the greatest respect for him. A friend of mine brought a present for her with a balloon on it and he gave it to me on the Alpe d’Huez. My wife and my daughter were one turn further. I took the present with me and stopped for a while when I reached them. My daughter was impressed. Many people came towards us immediately. It was crazy.”
Embedded image permalink 
Steven Kruijswijk:
Embedded image permalink“I noticed that he didn’t feel great today. That’s why we made some decisions already on the Col de la Croix de Fer. Robert wanted to ride at his own pace and didn’t want me to ride in front of him. On the Alpe d’Huez, I thought that we would have been able to return to the group with Nibali. I decided to set the pace at that moment and told him that he had to go faster if he didn’t want to ride behind me. He was able to profit from my work. Robert proved that he’s worth his sixth place during the last three weeks.”

Alberto Contador:

"Alpe D'Huez came, I'm a little tired but always motivated and focused until last moment.Thanks for your support.��"

RESULTS
Embedded image permalinkSTAGE
1 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 03:17:21
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:00:18
3 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 00:00:41
4 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:01:38
5 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky
6 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 00:01:41
Embedded image permalink7 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 00:02:11
8 Winner Anacona (Col) Movistar Team 00:02:32
9 Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky 00:02:50
10 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Lampre-Merida
GC
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 81:58:33
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 00:01:12
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 00:05:25
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 00:08:36
Embedded image permalink5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 00:09:48
6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 00:10:47
7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 00:15:14
8 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 00:15:39
9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 00:16:00
10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 00:17:30
11 Simon Yates
JERSEYS
Yellow: Froome
Green: Sagan
White: Quintana
Polka Dot: Froome

venerdì 24 luglio 2015

TdF 19: Attack(s)!

Embedded image permalink
Tour de force today on the Tour de France: from the start Col du Chaussy (1533m, 1st cat, 15.4km, avg 6.3%) and from the gun attacks fly. Team Sky controls, easily so far, while riders are dropped already on the first slopes. 
Embedded image permalink26 riders gets a gap, in the rain storm. They are: Kruijswijk Rodriguez Sicard Plaza Peraud Losada Herrada Westra Edet Van Baarle lead. Talansky, Rolland, Gautier, Scarponi, Uran.
Alberto Contador attacks. Alejandro Valverde jumps on his wheel. Geraint Thomas bridges and the move is neutralised. Once again Valverde made the stopper for Froome.
Embedded image permalinkBarguil attacks, Gesink and Mollema follows. Valverde joins and Nibali goes on conter and joins the break where is team mate Scarponi. Contador attacks again, Valverde follows. They join too but keep the back.
Only Poels and Thomas alre left with Froome. Already. But the gap is slight.
Embedded image permalinkNibali attacks again. Thomas gets dropped and just Poels remains with Froome. Sky captain has caught the Contador's group but Nibali is still ahead with Kruijswijk and Rodriguez, who wins the KOM.
Embedded image permalinkDescent: Kruijswijk takes it in front. Tv motorbike forces Van Baarle off the road... Uran attacks, Bardet goes on conter and flies down solo once again. WHAT A RIDER! others follow. 

Uran, Bardet and Rolland are together and leading the race.


Rodriguez joins. Then, the Yellow Jersey group, where 
Thomas and Konig are back.
Embedded image permalink
Flat: Rolland attacks solo. The rest gets caught. Riders get off the peloton again and again. 
A new break formed including: 
Bardet, Rolland, Pantano, Kreuziger, Gallopin, Kangert, Kruijswijk, Rodríguez, Rogers, Gautier, Urán, Sicard, Plaza Molina, Losada, Clement, Herrada, Cummings, Malori, Wellens, Edet and van Baarle and Teklehaimanot. Gap is 2'38". Wellens crashes in the feed zone. The break slows down.


Embedded image permalinkCol de la Croix de Fer (2067m, HC, 22.4km, avg 6.9%). Lotto-Jumbo is leading the chase for Robert Gesink.
Embedded image permalinkBit of flat and Pierre Rolland attacks again. Team Astana goes in front and sets an high pace. Big selection in the Yellow Jersey's group. Only Poels remain with Froome while Porte Konig, Roche and Thomas lost contact. Finally also Poels gets dropped, Froome is isolated and Nibali attacks with Kangert. Quintana is on his wheel. Froome hangs on.
5 km to the top Poels, Mollema and Gesink are back to the Froome's group. Thomas instead is way behind.
Embedded image permalinkValverde attacks and bridges to Molina who was chasing solo Rolland. The group is close and it includes: Froome, Quintana, Gesink, Nibali, Kangert, Majka, Uran, Scarponi, Poels, Mollema  and Edet.
Nibali looks at Quintana: "C'mon!" 
Embedded image permalink
Valrgren and... his sister! today he abandoned :(
Mechanical for Froome, he has to stop and Nibali attacks. Froome's immediately back on bike. Nobody reacted. Moreover! Valverde closes on Nibali. But Nibali attacks again.
Froome is forced to chase solo. He catches the back of the group but had to spent. Nibali goes.
KOM: Rolland, then Nibali then Bardet who's grabbing the Polka Dot.
Embedded image permalinkDescent: Rolland and Nibali are taking crazy risks. In the group, Valverde goes fighting with Poels and Froome for leading in the downhill. 
The technical section is over and the group slows down to eat and drink. Pinot, Barguil, Gautier and Sanchez have come back. Thomas is still chasing. 
Col du Mollard (1638m, 2nd cat, 5.7km, avg 6.8%). Molina attacks but gets finally caught. Barguil gets dropped again. 
Rolland tops the KOM and Nibali joins. They fly down together. 3rd is Bardet, more and more in Polka Dot and fighting for the podium. Three terrific descenders launched on the attack.
Embedded image permalinkBut Bardet has got a mechanical problem at the shifter: he's forced on the short gear! Mechanical also for Kreuziger who has got a broken wheel.
Thomas is sinking 9'45'' down. And it's raining on the finish line.
Finally the AG2R car is allowed to pass, Bardet gets a working bike and catches the back of the Yellow Jersey group
Embedded image permalinkLa Toussuire (1705m, 1st cat, 18km, 6.1%). Mechanical and bike change for Contador, Kreuziger stops to help and he's quickly back. Frank is immediately dropped.
16 km to go Vincenzo Nibali goes solo. Gap is 1'50'' but growing soon.
Embedded image permalink
Recap! In the Yellow Jersey's group there are: Christopher Froome (Team Sky), Wout Poels (Team Sky), Nairo Alexander Quintana Rojas (Movistar Team), Alejandro Valverde Belmonte (Movistar Team), José Herrada Lopez (Movistar Team), Alberto Contador Velasco (Tinkoff-Saxo), Rafal Majka (Tinkoff-Saxo), Robert Gesink (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), Steven Kruijswijk (Team LottoNL-Jumbo), Bauke Mollema (Trek Factory Racing), Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale), Andrew Talansky (Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team), Samuel Sánchez Gonzalez (BMC Racing Team), Thibaut Pinot (FDJ.fr), Mathias Frank (IAM Cycling), Ruben Plaza Molina (Lampre-Merida), Michele Scarponi (Astana Pro Team), Cyril Gautier (Team Europcar). But it's losing pieces.

Embedded image permalinkRolland is bitting the bullet but doesn't give up. The group is closing the gap. 7 km to go he's caught.
Nibali still has 2'21".
5 km to go Poels gets dropped. Quintana attacks. Froome responds. Valverde and Contador try but can't follow.
Embedded image permalinkFroome chases solo. Quintana goes but how can he gain 3' in 5 km? Gap is just 15''. 
Slight descent: Froome on the pedals. Three terrific climbers launched on the attacks.
Last km for Vincenzo Nibali. The Shark bits his victory.

Vincenzo Nibali:
Embedded image permalink“We wanted to make the race hard on the Croix de Fer, and the team did that. It was a huge effort but this was an important stage and I dedicate it to the people who were close to me after a dark first week. Tomorrow it’s the Alpe d’Huez, let’s hope for the best.”


Chris Froome:
“Nibali did see what he was doing, I’m pretty sure he looked around, saw I was in trouble and attacked. In my opinion you don’t do that to the race leader, it’s not sportsmanlike".
Embedded image permalink“It was a massive day out there and the racing was on from the word go. All-in-all it was a pretty good stage for us and we were able to tick another day off. We’ve got one day of serious racing left now. Quintana put in a real big attack there and I chose to ride at my own tempo, limit my losses, and stay within myself ahead of another big day tomorrow.
It was a tough day for the team, and tough for Geraint losing a lot of time. He was feeling empty after doing such a great job to support me up until now. He’s been there every single day and it’s sad he’s lost his fourth place.
It’s going to be full-on tomorrow up Alpe d’Huez but I’m actually looking forward to it – it’s the most iconic stage of this year’s Tour. It’s going to be epic out there. It would be a dream to take the stage win, but I’ll have to keep up with a little Colombian first.
Embedded image permalinkClose to the summit of the Col du Glandon my back wheel locked up and a bit of tar or a small stone had locked itself between my brake calipers and my back wheel, so I had to stop, take the wheel backwards and get the stone out. Unfortunately, that was the moment Nibali had decided to make his move.”

Geraint Thomas:
Embedded image permalink“I was just empty today. It was always going to happen and I was hoping it was going to come on Monday but it came today. I just didn't have it, and as they say, sometimes you're the hammer and sometimes you're the nail. I was a cheap nail today, terrible, but there you go. There's only one mountain stage to go. It was such a tough start, and when you've got nothing in the legs there's not a lot you can do.”

Nairo Quintana:
“Overall, the day went pretty well, but we missed that final touch. We initially tried to control Nibali, thinking that Sky would start chasing later on, but it's true that a rider like Vincenzo was really far in the overall standings in that moment, and they didn't have to care about him. We kept pushing with José Herrada, who was fantastic, and Tinkoff pulled a bit later on to gain some time back. I jumped when I though it was the right moment and place to put a good distance on Froome, but it wasn't enough compared to what we thought. There's only one day left, the final mountains for all of us - we'll try to attack stronger and also fight for the stage win. Regarding Alejandro('s podium chances), I think there shouldn't be any problems when riding face-to-face tomorrow; we conceded a big gap today, but I think they'll be together tomorrow.”

Embedded image permalinkBauke Mollema:
“The uphill start was crazy! This was the toughest stage of the Tour and the race was on from the start to finish. I wanted to jump, too, but Sky literally told me no way. Bardet was there, and that was bad, but not horrible. It was full gas all day and I am really empty. I felt a lot better than the last days, I felt that right away. With an uphill start like this it was going to be a really hard day, and it was only going up and down all day. It was a big fight in the front, and not only for us but also for the guys behind who must fight to make the time limit.
Embedded image permalinkI moved up one spot in the GC so it was a good day. It was a good pace the last two climbs and I was happy to be there in the front and I kept fighting to the finish. It was just one of those days that if you did not have good legs it would be a really, really hard day. Thankfully, I felt much better today, and that is good for the morale. Tomorrow again will be a big fight, and I feel more confident for Alpe d’Huez. That’s what will count.”

Embedded image permalinkAlberto Contador:
"It was a day where I had to survive. I started with bad sensations and cramps all day so I had to save energy as much as I could. I sent Majka to pull at the front and he set the pace and it calmed a bit down. Things turned out quite well. Nibali is now ahead in the GC and I congratulate him for that. It's true he did a very good job today. In what regards me, I think it deserves more merit to have reached this point than previous victories. I had strong cramps throughout the day and I was praying to make it through. Tomorrow will be another day. We will see how I will feel tomorrow. The most important thing right now is to have a very good massage and recover. My muscles and tendons suffered a lot because the extreme heat dehydrated me. The most important aspect is to recover for tomorrow”. 

Embedded image permalinkPeter Sagan:
Embedded image permalink“I hope that I feel good tomorrow and that I will make it to Paris as fresh as possible. Now I’m thinking about resting and that tomorrow will be really, really hard and then I can start focusing on Paris and the Champs-Élysées. Today I felt a bit better than yesterday and I hope that I will be fresh again tomorrow. If I can finish within the time limit tomorrow the green jersey is just one day away in Paris, which is more like a celebration race before the finale. But on the Champs-Élysées, everybody of course wants to win and I will try if I’m there."


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RESULTS
STAGE
1 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 4:22:53
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:00:44
3 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 0:01:14
4 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:02:26
5 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
6 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team
Embedded image permalink7 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing
8 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
9 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo
10 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team
11 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:02:35
12 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:04:17
13 Ruben Plaza Molina (Spa) Lampre-Merida 0:04:53
14 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:05:02
Embedded image permalink15 Rafal Majka (Pol) Tinkoff-Saxo
16 Wouter Poels (Ned) Team Sky 0:06:23
17 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:08:05
18 Michele Scarponi (Ita) Astana Pro Team
19 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar
20 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo
GC
1 Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky 78:37:34
2 Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team 0:02:38
3 Alejandro Valverde (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:25
4 Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:06:44
5 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:07:56
6 Robert Gesink (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 0:08:55
7 Mathias Frank (Swi) IAM Cycling 0:12:39
8 Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek Factory Racing 0:13:22
9 Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:14:08
Embedded image permalink10 Pierre Rolland (Fra) Team Europcar 0:17:27
11 Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:18:25
12 Samuel Sanchez (Spa) BMC Racing Team 0:19:27
13 Serge Pauwels (Bel) MTN - Qhubeka 0:26:48
14 Warren Barguil (Fra) Team Giant-Alpecin 0:27:00
15 Geraint Thomas (GBr) Team Sky 0:27:24
Embedded image permalink16 Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:40:40
17 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:57:49
18 Mikael Cherel (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 0:59:26
19 Jarlinson Pantano (Col) IAM Cycling 0:59:42
20 Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale 1:12:21
21 Jakob Fuglsang (Den) Astana Pro Team 1:14:48
22 Tanel Kangert (Est) Astana Pro Team 1:16:00
23 Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team 1:19:34
24 Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNL-Jumbo 1:19:35
25 Jan Barta (Cze) Bora-Argon 18 1:19:49
26 Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal 1:21:03
27 Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team 1:21:53
28 Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale 1:25:51
29 Bob Jungels (Lux) Trek Factory Racing 1:31:33
30 Cyril Gautier (Fra) Team Europcar 1:32:10
Embedded image permalinkJERSEYS
Yellow: Froome
Green: Sagan
Polka Dot: Bardet
White: Quintana