Reaction from stage 12

A punishing pace under the blistering sun

Egoi Martinez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) - fifth on stage, 40th overall @ 10:20

"Again we were fighting it out for victory right at the 'gates' [to the finish]. Sorensen hit out at the right time, succeeded in opening a hole and he had time to enjoy the victory.

Today I've seen that Pellizotti will be a tough rival for the mountains jersey. We must ride the right way and play our cards. It was a tough stage; one that leaves thousands of hours' worth of wear [on the riders]. Tomorrow is another day and we are prepared for it to be hard."

Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam) - 66th on stage, 16th overall @ 2:52

"As everyone expected, the 12 stage of this Tour was a fast and hectic stage on badly-surfaced roads... a really wearing day in which the breakaway took place after 90 kilometres of racing. There was a lightning pace throughout the whole day and it was very hot and wearing.

"Tiredness is accumulating in the majority of the pack and there are three days left along these roads which will frankly make the last week difficult.

"On the other hand, I didn't have any setbacks today. The team did a great job and were on the watch for breakaways all day. Thor is continuing in his fight to gain points to win the green jersey. It will be complicated considering Cavendish, but he keeps fighting to achieve it and the team will try to support him 100 percent so he can attain his goal."

Igor Antón (Euskaltel-Euskadi) - 139th on stage, 85th overall @ 39:02

"The truth is that I am riding this tour better than expected, but I've still faltered on some important stages. People are going very fast... I'm looking forward to a couple of good days in the Alps and enjoying my time on the Tour.

"Egoi Martinez is doing a great job and if Mikel Astarloza has the legs, he can finish among the best. I still don't have much hope [of a win] but I'll help the team."

Angelo Furlan (Lampre-NGC) - abandoned during stage

"Suddenly I had no energy; I had strong pains because of yesterday's crash and I couldn't pedal in a good way, so it was impossible to follow the pace of the bunch. I'm sad to leave my teammates and such a prestigious race; tomorrow I will fly to Italy from Basel."

Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) - ninth on stage, 117th overall @ 1:04:32

"Cavendish was on my wheel all day. I did what I could for the points sprints," Hushovd said. "We talked last night about how the team should help me in the sprints and it was good to see the team work to set up the sprint. Cavendish was able to beat me again today, but I still focus myself on winning another stage."

Markus Fothen (Team Milram) - fourth on stage, 104th overall @ 54:58

"Today we had planned to be in the decisive group. After we had been in every group to go, I was lucky enough to be in the right one.

"In the finale we waited at first, when Nicki Sörensen attacked. Unfortunately we waited too long. But I tried everything today. It wasn't enough for a place in the top three but I am still very satisfied with myself."

Brett Lancaster (Cervélo TestTeam) - 27th on stage, 134th overall @ 1:14:04

"I know Cav was on Thor's wheel. They gave us a bit of a free run. Hayden [Roulston] was a bit more motivated and we had Andreas [Klier] up there, so it was better to have another rider to set up Thor.

"Tomorrow, Thor could pick up some points if he can get over the first climb, and you can bet that the entire Columbia team is going to be out there trying to stop him. I'm going to be helping Thor every day and then help Carlos at the bottom of the climbs, get some bidons. I weigh 80 kilos, so that's about all I can do."

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