Pre-stage 12 quotes

By John Trevorrow in Luchon Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto) Cadel Evans said he was very happy with...

By John Trevorrow in Luchon

Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto)

Cadel Evans said he was very happy with having established a strong position in the race hierarchy in stage 11. "I was a bit anxious beforehand, because you don't know how it's going to pan out," he said. "But this was a confidence booster and now I can relax a bit. I wasn't the strongest there but I was amongst the four strongest climbers so that's a good place to be at this stage of the race."

Reminded that he got stronger the longer he went in the mountains on last year's Tour, in which he finished an impressive eighth on debut, he said he hoped the same would apply this time. "We'll see what the Alps bring next week. They're all pretty big."

Asked if he could go all the way and become the first Australian to win the great race, he shrugged. and said he believed Landis was the man to beat. "Ï was really impressed with him, he's riding really well," he said.

Chris Horner (Davitamon-Lotto)

Chris Horner was impressed with his teammate's ride in stage 11, telling Cyclingnews, "Yes, that was fantastic, a great ride. We talked about it a little bit yesterday About the two options, one that we would take it easy and a few unimportant guys would go up the road and about what would happen was that T Mobile would put the hammer down making the split, Cadel just following the moves all the way. And that's what he did, in the end he had to a little bit of work on the front with Floyd once they got rid of Klöden, who lost a bit of time.

"It couldn't have worked out much better for us. Cadel is right up there on GC and far enough away from the lead that we don't have to worry about defending it."

Not such a good day for T Mobile? "They put the pressure on Col du Portillon and did a lot of damage, but it didn't work and they suffered big time on that last mountain. I think it is one of the worst moves that T Mobile has done next to last year when they did the same thing chasing down Vinokourov.

"How a team is that strong and can make those types of mistakes is absolutely unbelievable at this point in time in the Tour. Let's face it, as a team that had five guys, if not six, riding that good. Why didn't they just wait for the race to unfold and then attack? Don't go to the front and use up all your best men."

"I had a terrible day. I was at the limit even in the gruppetto."

Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto)

Hard day but a good one for you yesterday? "Yeah, I just nicked up the road instead of sprinting and got the six points."

And today, you wouldn't mind if a break went up the road? "I'd prefer some break to go up the road and take way the points. Once you're in the green jersey with a 29 point lead, the obvious and best tactic is to let the breaks go away, and to try and hold the race together today would be almost madness. We did it once last year, stage 13, it was only five guys and the guys had to put in such an incredible performance I don't see it happening today. Not from us. We have a GC guy in Cadel."

You were impressed with his ride? "Well, I haven't seen anything of it on TV but he must have been fantastic."

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