Tom Boonen and Wilfried Peeters were interviewed before the start of stage 13. The Quick.Step-Innergetic duo talked about the race and about reports of tension between Boonen and green jersey Robbie McEwen, particularly after the latter continued to race yesterday when the other riders stopped for a toilet break.
"During yesterday’s stage, I consulted Boonen about the choice on team tactics," Peeters told Cyclingnews. "We decided not to chase the leaders as Tom wasn't feeling great. Today, for the first time during the Tour de France Boonen felt better. But it’s a very long stage and I'm wondering who will take the responsibility to lead a chase.
"Yesterday there were some troubles because Davitamon ignored the sign of Landis to take a break. But Landis and McEwen have different goals, so I can understand it. We didn't interfere in the discussion that started about the rules in the peloton. I guess the fatigue is making it hard for everyone, as the peloton was riding hard for almost 100 km at that moment."
"Everyone is in a good mood this morning. It's a very long stage today, with temperatures above 35 degrees. It's going to be a tough one."
Tom Boonen was then interviewed by Radio Donna while signing photos in the start village. "I feel ok, thanks; I actually woke up Lore [his girlfriend] earlier, ha! She sounded a bit hung-over, she always has this great deep voice in the morning.
"I do feel better but I panicked a bit about the pain yesterday. It didn't really bother me much any more later on during the stage though. The stomach still hasn't settled completely really but I'll cope. The heat will be murder again. I hope today a good break goes early so that we can take it a bit easier. Unlike yesterday."
He was then asked as to his feelings towards McEwen. "No, I'm not angry at Robbie, I'm just not kindly disposed towards him that's all. But I assure you I'm not the only one here to feel like that; there were about 180 riders (actually 164 - ed.) thinking the same yesterday. Let me put it like this: McEwen definitely didn't make any friends in the peloton yesterday."