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A look at the school, the races and the future of this unique 'sport'
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Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas) collects another spotty jumper
Astana defends, Pellizotti potent in plundering mountain points
Carlos Sastre (Cervelo TestTeam) - 24th on stage, ninth overall @ 3:52
"This stage was exciting, as was expected, and very fast from the start. There were a series of attacks, but the Astana team managed to control the race without any trouble. My teammates tried to get in with those breaks and were going after the victory, but Gómez Marchante, who had a possibility of winning, had a fall and missed out on his chance today.
"I felt good. Even though I didn't manage to respond to the attack by a number of riders, I'm happy with how I'm feeling. Another day's gone by without me losing any time against the top riders in the general classification, which is important for the coming stages."
Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Doimo) - 11th on stage, sixth overall @ 2:51
"I have worked hard to get to this stage of the race in the best form and now I am reaping the rewards. I feel very good and I intend to again battle to earn a higher place in the standings.
"Certainly it won't be easy as I have many opponents and they're difficult to peg back, but I feel that I have greater awareness of my ability. The confidence that the team puts in me is great and has been rewarded with performance up to my capabilities.
"In the time trial in Annecy, I'll try my luck for a notable result, as well as on the Mont Ventoux, a climb that I studied during the Dauphiné and that will have many victims. The white jersey? Overcoming Andy Schleck is not impossible."
Jurgen Van Den Broeck (Slience-Lotto) - fifth on stage, 22nd overall @ 11:11
"Fifth is fine, really fine... But I wanted more, I wanted to win. Sunday night, I didn't sleep well because the finish at Verbier had not been good enough and I fear that again I shall not sleep well tonight.
"I wanted a win, not a place of honour. And therefore, I am not yet interested to know how many positions I gained in the general classification.
"Note that the first col did not go very well. But afterward, I was feeling progressively stronger. I climbed at least as well as the KOM leader, Pellizotti. He was the ideal companion to stay ahead. But it did not end that well.
Am I fearful of having heavy legs tomorrow? Well, I shall see. But last year's Giro has shown that I recover rapidly. Therefore, I won't panic, as I feel that my condition is currently super."
Franco Pellizotti (Liquigas-Doimo) - seventh on stage, 40th overall @ 23:38
It's a prestigious jersey that I want to wear to the podium in Paris. Thanks also to the support of my teammates which helps me increases the advantage day after day; this must not lead to complacency.
"My strategy will be to attack and collect the necessary points in order to secure leadership in the mountains classification. Then I will give my support to the two young men [Nibali and Kreuziger] to climb up the general."
Alberto Contador (Astana) - 10th on stage, first overall
"There was a moment where just four or five riders remained [at the front]. When Saxo went a bloc, I knew that the Schleck brothers would attack and we saw that Andy was the strongest. It was a hard attack but at the end it finished in nothing, although always it remains in the legs.
"It was a good day. We saved the yellow and the team worked in a very intelligent way. Rivals tried [to attack] and there were many riders that came back, so tomorrow they will return to do it.
I felt very good, we anticipated the tactics of the team [Saxo Bank] and, though they have attacked us on the last climb, we saved the day. Tomorrow they will return to attack us because they have to try it. On the five days that remain they are going to attack us constantly."
Roman Kreuziger (Liquigas-Doimo) 18th on stage, 12th overall @ 4:40
"The goal of a place among the top 10 is still in my grasp. Unfortunately, in the stages I've ridden so far I haven't been able to give 100 percent, especially when the big [names] attacked.
"Now I feel better and I want to ride the final stages as a leader. Together with Vincenzo and Franco, uphill, we can implement a common strategy that will make the race hard and 'eliminate' the riders who precede us [on general classification]. The race against the clock can save more energy and then we can deal with the Mont Ventoux."
Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam) - 128th in stage, 110th overall @ 1:45:54
"These mountain stages are not easy for us sprinters. It's good when a breakaway is off the front though, because then we don't have to worry about the intermediate sprints."