Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida): “I’m going well on the climbs at the moment”
“I came here for a stage win and now I’ve got two, so I’m very happy – for the team as well because they worked very hard. They chased down the break today and spent a lot of energy doing so. We controlled it well after that – even Modolo worked for me.
“It was hard on the climb but I’m going well on the climbs at the moment. I can thank Mohoric and Conti for setting me up. I didn’t want to wait for the sprint. I managed to save a bit of energy on the downhill bit and was able to use it in the sprint.”
Bob Jungels (Etixx – Quick-Step): “I was surprised that Amador was working with me”
“I was expecting an attack from Amador, so I just went with him and in the end I felt really good. I wasn’t expecting that last small cobbled climb, when Ulissi jumped across, and in the end I thought I would go for the stage win, which would be hard in a sprint or I just keep pulling to gain time on the others. I lost two seconds on Amador but I gained a few on the others, which isn’t too bad.
“I was surprised that Amador was working with me. When you attack, you also have to continue. Movistar had two cards to play with Valverde and him. These are the stages where I can still do something. I think in the harder stages with the big climbs, it will be harder for me, so I have to try to do my best here. A third place here isn’t too bad.
“Friday will be a hard day but maybe with the downhill the gaps won’t be that big. Saturday is a big day, a lot of time over 2000 metres, which should suit our Colombian friends. Then it’s the time trial which I’m looking forward to. I know the climb. It’s quite regular, not too steep, so it may be a chance for me to do something.”
Eusebio Unzue, Movistar Team manager: “I think the guys rode again very well today”
“Alejandro? I saw him taking turns with Chaves and Nibali when they three attacked. I think it was a beautiful attempt from Vincenzo, which Alejandro and Chaves countered attentively. Even though it seemed like they could win some seconds at the finish with that cooperation, the GC leader defended himself well. The same happened when Jungels made his move; the other favourites did everything at their reach behind so we couldn’t open a gap.
“Andrey first went on a solo attack and later profited of Jungels’s move to keep the front. It wasn’t a bad position for us to stay with the Maglia Rosa and win some seconds before the high mountain stages. Chances to claim a stage win were also on the cards, but unfortunately, Ulissi coming from behind made them impossible to fructify. For the time being, we’re finding these chances to improve our overall result and we try to take advantage. I think the guys rode again very well today.”
Vincenzo Nibali (Astana): “I think Movistar want to try to play the GC with two riders”
“Every opportunity could be worth it, it could be the right move. We’re here to race, not to go for a stroll. When you see a chance, it’s only right to go for it, and even to try surprise moves and counter attacks. That’s racing. It didn’t work out today but if it had, we could have gained 30 or 40 seconds, which could have been really important in the fight for the overall classification.”
“It was perhaps difficult to do something today but it made me think that Movistar is now racing with two riders, I think they want to try to play the GC with two riders. But if Valverde wanted to gain time today he could have worked with me and it would have happened. He didn’t and so that’s what makes me think about their tactics. Today we missed chance to gain time on people like Pozzovivo, Majka, Kruijswijk and Zakarin.”
Alejandro Valverde (Movistar):
“Nibali attacked on the descent and I went after him,” he told reporters. “Of course, he had a gap on me of a few metres. When I caught him, I had to catch my breath, but then I worked at all times. He does his race and I do mine.”
“Last year he was fourth and he’s going very well,” Valverde said when asked about Amador’s role after the stage. “There are still a lot of mountains to come, but we’re second and third overall and the others are going to have to attack us.”
Vegard Stake Laengen (IAM): “I set out on my own with an acceleration, but it was too late.”
“I want to come away with more than time spent in a breakaway,” Vegard Stake Laengen explained as he was boarding the team bus. “I got into the right break today, but the peloton never left us alone. In spite of the fact we did have ten minutes at one point, we were always under control.”
Reeled in just a few hundred meters from the top of the categorized climb near the finish, Vegard Stake Laengen regretted not being able to hang with the best. “There wasn’t too much farther to go. When my breakaway companions lost their impetus, I set out on my own with an acceleration, but it was too late.”
Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin): “The pain was too severe”
“I am very disappointed to have to pull out of the race, which started so fantastic for me and the team. The pain was too severe and I couldn’t carry on anymore. We decided this morning to give it another try but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be improving. We were hoping for a recovery during the rest day but it didn’t get any better.
“I would like to thank all the fans and the team who have supported me. It is a shame that external factors forced me to abandon this great race and not being able to chase further success.”
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