Tour de France: Stage 12 reactions

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Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal), stage winner

“I don’t know what happened, I just saw it on TV. There were a lot of people in the last kilometre. They should think of doing something about it. I got pushed, Serge got pushed, we almost crashed. There wasn’t even room for one moto.

“I had the feeling that I have to go in the breakaway today. We knew it was a day either three guys would go in the break and they would take them back with 20km to go, or there’s a big break and my feelings said to go. My feeling was right. I dedicate this to Stig Broeckx. We think about him every day, and we hope that his situation gets better in the next days, weeks or months. We fight for Stig.

“How does this compare to your Giro d’Italia stage win on the Stelvio? I think I put them on equal. Both were nice victories. This is of course the Tour, but the Stelvio was more emotional for me. I think I put them on the same level.”

Chris Froome (Sky)

“What a final. In the final kilometre, the moto braked suddenly in front of us, and Richie, Bauke and I crashed into it, and then the moto behind me ran over my bike and broke it.

“I said to myself ‘I have no bike’. And I knew the car with my bike was 5 minutes behind on the road, so I need to run.

“I’m very happy with the commissaires’ decision. I think it was correct so thank you to them.”

Richie Porte (BMC)

“The crowd was just all on the road and a motor bike stopped right in front of us and we had nowhere to go. The next minute I went straight over the top of the motorbike. It was just a mess.

“Froome was on my wheel and went straight into me. I don’t know what they can do but they need to do something about it because it’s not fair. One minute were 23 seconds in front and then the next thing, for something so silly, everybody was back on us.

“The results can’t stand, surely the jury has to look at it and use some sort of discretion. If you can’t control the crowds what can you control? It’s not really the motorbikes, it’s the crowd. They’re just in your face the whole time, pushing riders and at the top there, that was just crazy.”

Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange)

“I wouldn’t really want to take the yellow jersey like that, so I’m happy with the decision. If I was in Froome’s position and I’d lost the jersey like that, I’d have wanted the same decision as him. It was pretty dangerous in the last kilometre but the fans make the sport and there’s not many sports where fans can get so close to the athletes. It is what it is. I wouldn’t have wanted to take the jersey like that. Froome is the rightful owner of the yellow jersey.”

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)

“It happened so fast when there was just one kilometre to go or less, and suddenly we were on the ground. I don’t know really what happened. I think there was a moto in the middle of the road, maybe because there were so many people there.

“From then on I was trying to get back on my bike. I took the bike and just didn’t think about anything. I just went as fast as possible to the finish.

“We all crashed, then it was chaos. There was a motorbike in the middleof the road. I don’t know why or what he was doing there. But we all crashed, and in my opinion this cannot happen in the last kilometre.”

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)

“The wind on the last climb certainly made it tricky, but there were so many people out there. They made a really big problem. I really dont’ know what’s going on with this Tour. Personally, I don’t think it is under control at all.

“There were a lot of difficulties in the last couple of kilometers because of the position of people. I was feeling good, but it is disappointing.”

Romain Bardet (AG2R)

“We tried to remain as focused as we could today. I had some disappointment because I had to really fight back at the bottom of the Ventoux. But what I saw on Ventoux was it wasn’t the best conditions on the bike. There were so many motorbikes in the way, it wasn’t safe. You had to brake when you were attacking. We need to have a long conversation about security here. It was unacceptable what happened today. I don’t know what will happen with the maillot jaune. I have never seen anything like this on a bike race before.

“There was a really good battle between the GC guys. I stayed just behind. I wanted to ride my own pace, I knew I couldn’t be with the very best. I knew Porte and Froome would get away. I could feel my legs were getting better. I am hoping to be at my best in the last week.”

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

“It’s an accident of the race but these things happen in sport. They hit the moto and fell, but these things happen in cycling.

“We tried to save things as best we could. There’s an interesting time trial coming tomorrow. “

Nicolas Portal (Team Sky director)

“There was no room for the motos or the riders to pass with the crowds. Chris’s bike was broken in the crash and now we’re waiting to see if commissaires decide to do something. I was blocked by the commissaires so i was behind Geraint Thomas when the incident happened. We were too far back. Everybody was blocked, including the Mavic neutral service car. It was a nightmare.”

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Adam Yates alejandro valverde bauke mollema Chris Froome joaquim rodriguez mont ventoux reactions richie porte romain bardet stage 12 thomas de gendt Tour de France

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