Tour de France: Stage 7 reactions
Stephen Cummings (Dimension Data), stage winner
“Of all my victories, I think it’s the best one. The Tour is the Tour, it’s special. I didn’t need to win a stage this year. I had a different condition from last year as I started the Tour riding for Mark [Cavendish] who is such a winner and an inspiration. It’s brilliant, it’s fantastic.
“I wasn’t confident in that group with [Vincenzo] Nibali and [Dani] Navarro. The idea was that Navarro will cook himself before the climb, so I put pressure on Astana to chase behind. I felt if I can get in front with a smaller number of riders, I’d have more chances of winning. I cooked myself actually. I think I was riding on the flat quite a lot. Then a 5 to 6% climb like Col d’Aspin is good for my characteristics, so I just carried on and I won.”
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC), overall leader
“I wasn’t expecting a winning time today, I’m pretty happy with this. It was a smart decision to go in the break. At the end of the day I got what I wanted, I got an extra day in yellow. I will enjoy tomorrow, but I think it will be my last day tomorrow.
“It was a bit strange because they kept on attacking, and some big breaks were going off. My team was getting tired in the end, so I just wanted to take the pressure off my team and go by myself. I think it was a smart decision to do this. They didn’t have to work today and they still have the same at the end of the day. It was a pretty good day for BMC.”
Daryl Impey (Orica-BikeExchange), second in the stage
“I really surprised myself on the climb, I think I went better than expected and I am chuffed with that,” said a happy Impey after the stage.
“When you look who was in the breakaway there was a lot of strong climbers there and I tried to sit on and save myself a little, fortunately I was able to do that and I held onto a good position for the finale”
Thibaut Pinot (FDJ)
“I simply didn’t have the legs. There’s no excuse to look for. It’s the third time I arrive in the Pyrenees and lose ground. That’s it. I find myself with the same sensations as in the Dauphine. I’m not 100 per cent, and in the Tour, you have to be 100 per cent. Of course, it’s a waste. It’s a season that almost goes to crumbs. The Tour is the highlight of the season and from the first mountain stage, the objective is over.
“It is not a matter of preparation. We looked to reach our peak for the Ventoux, but we’re not machines. To program a peak it’s more easily said than done. We’ll see tomorrow. If it’s like today, there won’t be any surprise. After two kilometers I realized I was not at my best.”
Marc Madiot (FDJ manager)
“He certainly was not at his usual level, I do not know the reason. It’s a disappointment, but part of life as a cyclist, it can not happen the way you want every time. We will try to understand what’s going on. I have no explanation for now. The idea is to be in position at the foot of the col. In the Tour, we know that things can happen, good or bad, you have to prepare for it. There still things to do, but first you have to find out what’s wrong.”
Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)
“This was a fast race, especially the first 50 km in the beginning. I was well surrounded by my teammates. They did a good job. Also Vicioso did a good job so I say thanks to KATUSHA. On the Aspin it was hard to attack due to the hard head wind plus fear for tomorrow”.