Tour de France: Stage 16 reactions

Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), stage winner

“It was a very long stage and it was very hot. I’m so happy and proud of my team because they did a very good job. I’m so happy to win for them, for Tinkoff and for Oleg [Tinkov]. It was unbelievable. A lot of times I lose the race for this [photo finish], and today I won. I believe in destiny and now it is turning back.

“Fans came here from Slovakia and it is very nice that they could come here to see me and to cheer for me. I have some fans in Switzerland, too.”

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha)

“I thought I had it. I was sprinting at maximum and I didn’t really see the line until it was too late, so I maybe make my jump rom my bike a little too late, and maybe that made the decision.

“It was a fast day, and my team worked well with the pacing on the front. I tried my best, but the finish ws really hard and I was just on the limit.

“It’s disappointing to be so close for a win and then don’t make it. I thought I had it there, and I even thought I had it after the line, but I wasn’t sure.”

John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin)

“In the finale I got boxed in against the right-hand side barriers. It’s unfortunate because I really had the power but I just didn’t make anything out of it. I’m happy that I was up there competing in the sprint and that shows that I am progressing in the right direction.

“Warren did an unbelievable job in the finale to put me in a good position and I am very thankful to him. Overall, it was a very strong performance from the whole team and I am very proud.”

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data)

“I was just hanging on there. It was a bit sketchy. I could just seethe wheel in front of me, and that’s it.

“It was a hard day, actually. When you have Tony Martin in fron tit’s not going to be easy. It wasn’t easy at all. Four hours 25 to do 210km, that’s pretty fast.”

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC)

“It was hard to get in position but I was there where I wanted to be. On the bottom the peloton hesitated a little as it was a bit too early to go I think, still 2.5km to the finish. So I waited and then on the top when I wanted to go the tempo was high so there was no point to attack there. We were just waiting for the sprint and I think I just tried to get into a good place but I never could get to the first row to sprint for first place. It was really good teamwork. Rohan Dennis did a really good job today and for us it was an important stage with Bern and Andy Rihs, our sponsor, here from BMC Switzerland. So we tried to do it as good as possible. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. I don’t think I could have gone better on this stage.”

Richie Porte (BMC)

“It was a mess of a finish. It was quite dangerous in that last 10km but the whole day was just so fast. I think with Tony Martin in the breakaway they weren’t going to give him much. We just rode absolutely flat out all day. I think we averaged something like 46km an hour today so it wasn’t easy. It was just absolutely flat out all day. I’m in good condition and it is a hard four-day block coming up after the rest day. I think I’ve got everything to play for now, I’m not too far off podium. It’s a big goal so bring it on.”

Ivan Basso (Tinkoff director)

“It was an incredible victory, it says absolutely everything about Peter’s riding today. We prepared for this type of finale, he’s the world champion and a champion every time. Peter didn’t speak too much this morning. It was one of our goals for the Tour, and it all worked really well.”

Chris Froome (Sky)

“I wasn’t actually up at the front those last few kilometers, it was pretty sketchy through all the towns, with lots of road furniture, lefts and rights and obviously over the cobbles. I was just trying to stay out of trouble and get to the finish as good as possible. I think everyone is quite glad there’s a rest day tomorrow, that was a tough day out there.

“I’m pretty tired to be honest, and looking forward to the rest day. I’m looking forward to the Alps. I’m motivated, the team’s been great. I’m looking forward to the last few days now.

“I think the team’s in fantastic shape. I don’t think we’ve ever been at this point with nine riders left. That’s a great advantage for us. The guys are doing well, the morale is high, and we have the leader’s jersey and a lot to fight for still. We’re looking forward to getting back into the mountains now.”