Tour de France: Stage 14 reactions
Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data)
“We knew we had to be there, it went from narrow to narrower with 6km to go. There was a little crosswind there. You saw the guys riding in the last 40km to see us there with Daniel Teklehaimanot and Serge Pauwels, after Natnael was riding the whole day. Bernie kept us there for the narrow section, and then it was about jumping trains to the end, actually.
“Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg is not very experienced, he needs Bernie to guide him there. Reinardt messed up a bit – I was on Kittel and he brought the other trains past, and I thought, oh this is it, it’s finished. I followed Kittel, Edvald stayed there, he made sure I was there. We got through, and then I saw they led out quite early Etixx did, and I knew Kittel would be left on the front quite soon into the headwind. So I knew I had to wait, wait, wait and let him die and then come around.
“I jumped around him and obviously it bent over to the right and he’s kicked off a little bit, but I was way past him by then. I don’t figure there’s anything wrong there. I think he was just frustrated.”
Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)
“My teammates did a great job keeping me there, and I think I had the legs but I didn’t find the wheels, maybe a little bit too late, and I had good speed because coming from behind is always easier in a headwind. Cavendish is really aero and fast, so I knew that he would be difficult to beat today. I’m happy to finish second but for sure I was hoping to win. Cavendish is just faster right now.
“I did a good sprint and the team did a good lead out, we had a plan. When we come to a sprint here, and they are not tired, I know that it is difficult to beat them [the other sprinters].”
Chris Froome (Sky), overall leader
“I’ve got to keep an eye on Bauke Mollema, he’s in second place and at the moment he’s my biggest rival.”
John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin):
“It was super important for me to keep the trust of my team. It means a lot to me and they did a great job to lead me there. In the finale, I took the right wheels, I had the punch, I was part of the top flight. It really boosts my morale. It’s very positive for the last week of the Tour. There were doubts but we knew it was a matter of time. You have to wait and the more pressure you put on yourself the more things fail you. I hope I’ll be at my best on the Champs-Elysées.”
Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie)
“It is not a great disappointment. It was not really a finish for me. I think I can be a match, but when you’re 10th with 300 metres to go, you cannot look for victory. There was some friction with Peter Sagan but the race was already set. There was headwind from the left and we said we would go left and Adrien Petit went right, I didn’t have the time to understand. The headwind was interesting for me but the best man won. It’s good that we have two opportunities left.”
Richie Porte (BMC):
“It was cross winds, head winds, the wind was just everywhere. Then after such a hard time trial yesterday, it was a niggling kind of stage, with twisting roads and quite a tricky finale. It was a nice one to get done to be honest.”
“The team kept me pretty well protected out there. Micky Schar and Marcus Burghardt did the last 20km, they pretty much dragged the whole peloton. They were incredible. Rohan Dennis too.”
“It’s nice to get back into and we’ll just see what happens. It’s a very hard day and so we’ll see how everyone is after today.”
Tejay van Garderen (BMC)
“It was hot and lots of head wind. I wouldn’t say it was the most nervous day (of the Tour), it was just long and I’m just glad to get through it.
“The team has been stellar the whole Tour, I definitely owe a lot to them and hopefully we can repay them with tomorrow and good third week.”