Tour de France: Stage 20 reactions

Ion Izagirre (Movistar)

“I wanted to do the best descending that I could. I tried to go full gas and I managed to get it right. Today went really well. The victory is very good for Movistar today, and finally we have something to celebrate at this Tour de France. We came to the Tour with a dream to win the yellow jersey, but a stage victory and a podium in Paris – that’s still good.”

Chris Froome (Sky)

“It’s a huge relief to cross that finish line,” said Froome after the stage. “The last 24 hours have been pretty chaotic but my teammates helped me so much to keep the yellow jersey on my shoulders. It’s an amazing feeling.

“I’m pretty sore, all my knee and my back, but my legs were better today than yesterday after the crash. I had that four minutes gap to play with. It gave me a breathing space. I just had to stay in front. It could be like the first one again.

“It was a tough day out there, rain on and off, tricky descents and a tricky finish there, so it was such a good feeling crossing that final finish line.”

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)

“This is great. This is how I wanted to say goodbye to the Tour de France, by suffering and fighting. I am so happy! Yesterday 11th and now 7th. It looks like more than we expected before the stage but in the end this is the position I had in mind before the Tour. In the end Katusha did a good Tour de France. We showed we are a team and Ilnur is the future. If Alexander Kristoff could win tomorrow, that would be the cherry on the pie”.

Romain Bardet (AG2R)

“I find it hard to put my feelings into words. As I previously said, I took the time to enjoy my victory with my teammates and the staff.

Today our objective was to stay focus in order to remain second overall. We managed quite well stage 20 and I was feeling emotional at the end of it. We did an exceptional Tour de France and we can be really proud of our performance. To be honest, I expected to be in great shape during this Tour in order to reach the best overall position possible. I had a great time riding this race.

I felt comfortable in the GC leaders group and I took the chance of attacking them. We were successful but only thanks to an important group work.

This podium is the result of an outstanding team effort and it is the greatest moment of my career! The public support was unbelievable, it was truly stunning.
That is why I would like to thank the public, I am really grateful for their everyday support.”

Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange)

“Yesterday wasn’t my best day and we ended up just missing out on the podium, but of course I’m super happy,” said Yates at the stage finish. “Barring any bad luck on tomorrows last stage to Paris then these should be the final results and I’m very satisfied with what we’ve achieved.”

“This is only my second Tour de France and I am only 23-years old so I will definitely be back and I hope to challenge for the podium, if not more in the future.

“I am glad its over, it has been a long, tiring three weeks and the team have been fantastic day in day out.”

Geraint Thomas (Sky)

“It was OK. We stayed calm and didn’t push it too much. We had a good advantage this morning, so, yeah, it was OK.

“I road the climb, and then we told Fromey to sit behind me [on the descent]. We had three guys behind him in case anything happened. I just went down nice and steady. It couldn’t have gone any better.”

“It maybe just made him a bit more cautious, but he’s a real strong guy and I don’t think it affected him too much.”

Nairo Quintana (Movistar)

“We can walk away from this Tour de France knowing that we tried our hardest. I think it’s been a positive Tour in the end. We were more ambitious when we arrived here, but a podium in the Tour de France is still a good achievement, so I’m happy for that. I had some allergies, the rain wasn’t great, but I’m feeling a bit better today. I wanted to say thank you to all the Colombian people, my father and mother, who have given their support for me.”

Richie Porte (BMC)

“It’s a great result but it’s a bit bittersweet to just throw away time like I have done on a few days. I think it leaves me a little more motivated for next year so I look forward to having another go at it. I move on and now I’ve got the Olympics to look forward to so hopefully I’ll take some good form out of this race and have a good go there.

“Coming down off those descents before the Joux Plane, everyone was just frozen solid. The Joux Plane is not an easy climb and at the pace they set it was quite hard to do anything from it. Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) set a place that was basically impossible to attack off. It is just a nice day to get done. Every descent we did today was just dangerous and slippery so I don’t think anyone wanted to risk anything, and I think Team Sky had it under control anyhow.”

“It does give me confidence for next year. A few times there I had a bit of bad luck but it’s exciting for next year. I’ll hopefully come back and give it another crack and see what I can do.”

Peter Sagan (Tinkoff)

“I’m happy to have taken the most aggressive rider. I’m happy we finished this very hard week and am looking forward to tomorrow. I was expecting to win the most aggressive prize last year, but didn’t, so to win it this year I’m very happy.”