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A look at the school, the races and the future of this unique 'sport'
See how nearly every bicycle saddle is made
Ever wonder how FSA does it? Take a walk through the factory and find out
Classic Colnago steel frame with gorgeous pantographed Campagnolo components
Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) in the final few meters of the bunch sprint that ended stage 10.
Ground control to peloton: you've lost your radio
Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam) - 48th on stage, 15th overall @ 2:52
"I thought that it was a really lovely, relaxed day, in which I had time to see a lot of things and I was able to speak with many team mates, which otherwise would not have been possible. We saw that in the end, the average speed is always the same, around 40 kilometres an hour on ground that was not at all flat, with constant climbs and descents on narrow and bare roads that prevent the bikes from gliding quickly.
"Today took place in a happy atmosphere, made more enjoyable by a breakaway. Behind, it was relaxed and the teams with sprinters were being controlled in order to reach the massive sprint that everyone wanted.
"It was a special day for me. Now I understand why riders in the days of Bahamontes lasted so long. On a personal level, I didn’t encounter any complications, I felt protected by my team mates simply because when a fall or puncture situation takes place, it's good to have everyone together to solve it as soon as possible. So we arrived at the finish line without any setbacks, but my team mates were close by just in case."
José Angel Marchante (Cervélo TestTeam) - 109th on stage, 43rd overall @ 12:32
"I am happy with the work that I've done in the first phase of the mountains. My job was to be with Carlos in the difficult moments and even though I would have liked to have been a little better, I am content."
"At first, it was a little nerve-racking to be at the side of the defending Tour champion, but once we hit the mountains, the nerves disappeared and now I am more confident that I can be there for him at all the key moments in the Alps. That is our next objective."
Gerald Ciolek (Team Milram) - 11th on stage, 140th overall @ 1:15:32
"Up until the crash I was in a good position. Then I lost some important metres and had to come forward again. At the end it was a very hectic race on an extremely turning and dangerous course. The stages on Wednesday and Thursday will surely be better for us."
Alberto Contador (Astana) - 40th on stage, second overall @ 0:06
"Riders are not satisfied with not using radios, especially for the dangerousness of the race. Already it is not a question of spectacle, because when there are no attacks like before it is because cycling has changed and teams are now more compact.
"To ride without radios means that a fall in an evil moment may rob you of victory or a puncture means that the strongest rider won't win."
"There was a degree of chaos because all the cars wanted to go forward. At the end it was a stage to demonstrate the dissatisfaction of all the riders. It's a pity that stages are so calm, though today there wasn't much of a chance to animate the race because it was completely flat.
"I think experiments are better in races other races than in the Tour de France."
Christian Henn (Team Milram directeur sportif)
"We controlled things in the race today. Towards the end we were very active in the chase work, catching the escape group. The finale was very hectic, however. Through another rider's crash, Gerald Ciolek lost 'Paco' Wrolich's rear wheel and fell out of the lead group."
Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) - second on stage, 121st overall @ 1:04:32
"I was in good position for the sprint, but in the last corner, I lost four or five metres to Cavendish and I had to fight really hard to close the gap and get back on his wheel. Because of this, I wasn't able to sprint at my best.
"I cannot be disappointed considering the circumstances. I was able to defend the green jersey, so I am happy about that."
José Joaquín Rojas (Caisse d'Epargne) - fifth on stage, 63rd overall @ 28:07
"I am still feeling good in this Tour and today in Issoudun I absolutely wanted to take part in the sprint to try and win a stage. I was very well placed at one kilometre from the line, in the seventh or eighth position.
"The finale was very technical, with several difficult curves and at about 500 hundred from the line, Haussler tried the first attack and then Duque put in another one but they stopped their efforts so I was left 10 metres behind. I tried to come back but it was already impossible to come and sprint with the very first.
"It's a pity because I felt strong after a very easy stage and I hoped at least to get the opportunity to fight with Cavendish.
The finale was much more difficult and dangerous that what was written in the road book and the fact that we had no possibility to use the ear pieces today did not allow team managers to tell us about the danger. Fortunately only one rider crashed but this finish was not worthy of the Tour.
"We are lucky because the riders are already more tired and less nervous, but I don't want to imagine what could have happened if we had such a finish in the first week of the race."
Alex Sans Vega (Cervélo directeur sportif)
"The breakaway went very early in the stage and several teams worked together to control it, so it was a good day for a stage after the rest day. Sometimes it takes 80km for the break to settle and you can really burn a lot of energy."
"The break never got more than three minutes or so. We had a strong tailwind in the final 50km, so it was important to keep it close. Thor was there for the sprint; we have to fight day by day for the points to keep the green jersey."
Johan Bruyneel (Team Astana General Manager)
"I understand the reason for no radios was to have more attractive racing and that's obviously not what happened. If that's what they wanted to accomplish it's been a failure and I just think it's a bad idea to go back 20 years and do something like this in the biggest race of the year. It took away a tool that everybody uses everyday."
Heinrich Haussler (Cervélo TestTeam) - 70th on stage, 107th overall @ 55:39
"I don't understand why there's such a big fuss about the ear pieces. It's a rule and we will follow it. It's a safety question and we prefer to race with the ear pieces but it's not like we're unable to think on our own. We can make our own decisions."
Andreas Klier (Cervélo TestTeam) - 78th on stage, 168th overall @ 1:33:01
"The race was like years ago when I started as a cycling pro. Then they didn't have radios yet. It was a pretty relaxed stage from my point of view and we could have that every day."
Angelo Furlan (Lampre-NGC) - 20th on stage, 170th overall @ 1:43:42
"After the efforts on the mountains and the injuries of the previous days, my condition is improving and so I wanted to test myself in a sprint, even if the final part of the stage was not so good for my characteristics. I tried the sprint, but the road was tough and the finale was not so flat.
"Ballan guided me perfectly but when I found myself alone and I had to battle for the position, I felt that I haven't yet got the necessary stamina to be in the front positions. Anyway, I have ground it out and in the next stages I'll try to try my luck."