I was at school and honestly I lost interest. Porte's case makes it all looking so ridicolous... Astana dominance - ah yeah Astana - Contador leadership - oh well Contador - and now a new victory by Philippe Gilbert - you know... ehm... Gilbert.
Mah! My favourite riders had such a bad luck: Pozzovivo crashed, Uran too, Porte got that absurd penality and today Belletti went home.
"This is amazing and it is a great feeling. Before the stage this morning, we had a talk and the entire team was really focused because we knew this would be a good stage for me. All of the guys did a great job for me, especially the tremendous effort to bring two guys back late.
I decided to wait for the group because I heard that Silvan Dillier and Amaël Moinard had rejoined from behind. We got organized and worked well as a team for the final few kilometers. This win is very important for the team and for me. We have tried many times, and finally we have won."
"It was yet another very hard day. We rode at 50km/h for the first two hours and then the rain started. The peloton broke apart because of the high speeds, but I felt that I had good legs. Philippe Gilbert was strong on the final climb, but I was focusing on the general classification and I’m very pleased with the outcome today.
We were of course riding at the front to minimize risks. We’re trying to ride in a clever way during the stages, considering each situation as they came. Astana are still very strong but I think that we are well organized as a team and I think it was a really good day for us”.
"It was a difficult stage in the final 50 kilometers. The speed was high and the wind played a factor as well. The downhills were technical and a bit dangerous due to the slippery ground from the rain. So I decided to stay near the front and not take risks. The team worked perfectly today and they put me in great position for the first climb. There were also crosswinds, so we had to pay attention. As for the finale, it was hectic. This kind of finish is meant more for guys like Gilbert and he deserved the victory today. I tried to hang on to not lose time. I am happy that this stage is behind us. Physically, I felt OK, even if not 100 percent from my crash yesterday. I had pain in my shoulder and neck muscles and the rain didn't help the situation. Tomorrow they also forecast rain, so it will be important to stay vigilant in the front. We will see what can happen."
Team Sky DS Dario Cioni:
"It was really fast in the first part of the stage. They couldn’t get the break to go so it was over 50km/h up to the first sprint. The second half was also tough because you had the climb and the bad weather came in. That made it quite a tough day.
The guys looked in control. There were quite a few crashes on the descent. Sebastian (Henao) was involved in one but he got going. Richie did well to be in the front group and then we were able to get more guys in the group for the final.
Tomorrow it’s a pure sprinters' stage. It’s totally flat for 147km. In his home region it’s definitely a stage Elia will be targeting for sure. The only question is the bad weather and how that affects the stage. I think some of the sprinters will possibly be leaving the race soon so it could be the last chance for some teams to commit."
Astana site is embarrassing. Sorry, no reaction by Fabio Aru!
1 Philippe Gilbert (Bel) BMC Racing Team 4:22:50
2 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:00:03
3 Diego Ulissi (Ita) Lampre-Merida
4 Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Giant-Alpecin
5 Enrico Battaglin (Ita) Bardiani CSF
6 Paolo Tiralongo (Ita) Astana Pro Team
7 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team 0:00:06
8 Carlos Betancur (Col) AG2R La Mondiale
9 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Soudal
10 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team
11 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step
12 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky
13 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team
14 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team
15 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team
16 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo
17 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky 0:00:11
18 Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) IAM Cycling
19 Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing Team
20 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team
1 Alberto Contador (Spa) Tinkoff-Saxo 51:17:06
2 Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:00:17
3 Mikel Landa Meana (Spa) Astana Pro Team 0:00:55
4 Dario Cataldo (Ita) Astana Pro Team 0:01:30
5 Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Tinkoff-Saxo 0:01:55
6 Rigoberto Uran (Col) Etixx - Quick-Step 0:02:19
7 Giovanni Visconti (Ita) Movistar Team 0:02:21
8 Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team 0:02:29
9 Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team 0:02:38
10 Leopold Konig (Cze) Team Sky 0:02:44
11 Davide Formolo (Ita) Cannondale-Garmin Pro Cycling Team 0:03:10
12 Richie Porte (Aus) Team Sky 0:03:18
13 Damiano Cunego (Ita) Nippo - Vini Fantini 0:03:24
14 Darwin Atapuma Hurtado (Col) BMC Racing Team
15 Yury Trofimov (Rus) Team Katusha 0:03:32
16 Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:03:42
17 Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal 0:04:14
18 Alexandre Geniez (Fra) FDJ.fr 0:05:03
19 Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team 0:05:05
20 Ion Izagirre (Spa) Movistar Team 0:05:56