Tour de France: Stage 10 reactions
Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange), stage winner
“I just won a stage of the Tour de France after two really bad years in this race. I was really close to giving in on this race. I just thought this race is maybe not for me, and I’d focus on other races. But today my dreams came true. That was never the plan to go in the breakaway. We were hoping to have a bunch sprint in the finish after the hard climb coming into the final. We have such a strong group of guys here. The way we work as a team, whoever’s up on that day we give that rider 110 per cent. You could see Luke Durbridge and Daryl Impey today – they gave me their everything. There are no words.”
Peter Sagan (Tinkoff)
“I used a lot of energy during the stage because the breakaway was like, OK, nobody wants to go full, and a lot of guys don’t want to work. I was trying to keep everybody turning. I attacked in the crosswind and we split in the last 25km. I then did a lot of attacks on the climb. When the guy from Orica attacked a lot in the last 3km and I always chased, like all the work was on me in the final. I was second. I’m happy for Michael to win a stage in the Tour de France, and I’m happy for my points in the green jersey.”
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data)
“It was a hard stage, I was feeling OK. I managed to get over the mountain, it was really a hard one. I was in the front group but I didn’t manage to win the sprint. That’s life.”
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC)
“I wanted to surprise the others a bit in the sprint by coming from the back. I knew it would be hard to beat Matthews and Sagan in a flat sprint. I gave it a go and had a good sprint but Matthews still came past in the end. I played and lost.
“I’d have preferred a slightly uphill; sprint, but it is what it is. I’ve also been in the thick of the action for several days during the Tour and so I’m slightly less fresh in the finale than Matthews.
“I was there to try something on the final climb but I was seriously stretched and when I wanted to go, my legs were full of lactic acid.
“Peter Sagan was actually the strongest in the race today. When we got away with seven riders in the move, he pulled hard. Everyone sat on him but a bloc. Matthews had teammates with him and that helped him save himself in the break and then be strong at the end.”
Chris Froome (Sky)
“There was talk of a little bit of crosswind coming into the last 30km, so you could see the whole peloton getting a little nervous behind. Again, the guys did a great job keeping me up front just in case things were to kick off, we were right there and ready for it if it did happen.
“This is the dream, this is what it’s all about, to be in yellow. It’s a special feeling and I’m going to soak it up and enjoy it while I’m here.
“Tomorrow we’re hoping for a similar day to today, another day we can tick off and get through without too much happening. Ventoux is definitely the next big thing we have our sights on now.”
Daryl Impey (Orica-BikeExchange)
“The start was as expected; we wanted to get things going and get guys in the move and we hade Luke Durbridge, Michael Matthews and myself in there. We all rode together very well. With 25km to go we knew we had such a good advantage and we committed with Luke at the start of the last climb. It was just about putting pressure on the rest of the guys in the final and try to get him there as fresh as possible in the end.
“Peter Sagan tried a few times and I tried, it was just about trying to soften him up. In the final, I just kept the pressure on Peter and I knew that Michael was just behind him and would have the chance to get the jump. I went to one side and tried to increase the speed coming into the last 400 metres but I think Michael had great legs at the final and I think that softening up Peter at the end made a difference.
“Today we showed as a unit we ride really well together. It wasn’t a disappointing start to the Tour but we didn’t get a win and this was the stage we really targeted. We bounced back really well after the rest day and it is nice to get a monkey off our back now.”