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Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling Team)
Frenchman thought he was the fastest in the last 150 metres
"From the helicopter shots, I'm sure you can see that I was the fastest man in the last 150 metres," the Frenchman told Cyclingnews after crossing the finishing line.
"I went to reconnoitre the finale of this stage," said Feillu, who doesn't live too far from Carmaux in the centre of France since he relocated to his girlfriend's hometown. "I was well positioned at the 1km to go mark. I was right behind Greipel. As there was a choice to be made, I let Cavendish pass me but Thor Hushovd also did so before the curve, and he took it too slowly. I was forced to brake. Then I had a too big gear. I won't blame Thor though, that's just racing. The other day, I was told that I'm a kamikaze."
"It's a pity because a big coup was possible today," Feillu said. "The headwind gave an opportunity to people like me who prefer to sprint from behind. I hope there is another such opportunity tomorrow. The course is easier and I hope it'll help my tendonitis to get better. My knee was painful today in the climbs. It makes it frustrating to not win. If I happen to win a stage at the Tour de France, I won't yell because of joy, it will just be a relief. I'm 27, and I'm sure my time will come."
It sounded like Feillu already has the next few years in mind, as the mountains might be something too difficult for him this year because of his tendonitis. Courage seems to be a trademark at Vacansoleil for the team's first participation to the Tour de France, as Johnny Hoogerland carries on with the polka dot jersey despite the consequences of his spectacular accident on stage 9.
"Johnny wanted to keep racing because it's a mark of respect to the Tour de France," Feillu said. "He's new at this race and he really wants to finish. He's almost becoming the most popular rider in the bunch after what happened on Sunday. He's a very good climber. It's a pity that he might not be able to defend his polka dot jersey. He'll keep it at least until Luz Ardiden."
"Today we had Marco Marcato in the break taking the points for the king of the mountains. It would be nice if Johnny could finish the Tour. Our priority at Vacansoleil is to help him if needed."