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Reaction from stage 21

By:
Daniel Simms
Published:
July 27, 2009, 2:41 BST,
Updated:
July 27, 2009, 3:46 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, July 27, 2009
Points classification winner Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam)

Points classification winner Thor Hushovd (Cervelo TestTeam)

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Paris, pain, pride and a well-deserved rest

Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) - sixth on stage, 106th overall @ 2:46:00 - points classification winner

"I started this morning with one aim: to keep the green jersey. I battled throughout the race to win this jersey. I didn't take any risks in the final sprint. There are a lot of things that can happen to that final rush to the line.

"I won this jersey because I'm more experienced. I know how to win it. I've done it before and I've fought for the jersey many, many years. Cavendish is the fastest sprinter, but I am the most consistent, and that's why I won the jersey.

"It's very emotional to stand on the podium and receive this jersey. I'm proud of what I've done. It was a hard battle to get more points than Cavendish, but that's what I've done in the end. His big goal is to win the green jersey and I know he's going to get many of them in the future, but I am going to give him a big fight in the next few years."

Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel-Euskadi) - 69th on stage, 11th overall @ 14:44

"The truth is that I'm very happy with this Tour. I've come to the Champs-Élysées seven times before and all are special but it's true that the first and last are a bit more. The first being your debut and this one because of the [stage] victory, but every year I'm emotional when I enter Paris. The team has demonstrated a very high level in the race and every day we fought for a goal."

Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam) - 109th on stage, 17th overall @ 26:21

"I've realised a number of things. Perhaps the first and for me the most important is that I've come to the conclusion that one can't perform at a very high standard for so long. In my case, I haven't stopped since I won the Tour de France [last year].

"I've competed in four grand tours in less than a year: Tour, Vuelta, Giro and Tour, plus the Olympic Games, as well as an incredible number of events and activities, and that hasn't left me any time to rest. I think that's the reason for my tiredness and for the fact that at the moment I feel as if my body has nothing left to give. So the only thing I can think of right now is resting."

Gerald Ciolek (Team Milram) - fourth on stage, 126th overall @ 3:15:12

"Over these three weeks we have continually presented ourselves well and next to Columbia was the most active team in the sprints. You have to pay the greatest respect to Mark Cavendish, who didn't make any mistakes this year and was simply unbeatable.

During the Tour I noticed that I was close to a stage win. I think that it is only a question of time until I win a stage at one of the Grand Tours."

Igor Gonzalez de Galdeano (Euskaltel-Euskadi directeur sportif)

"After five years of drought, Euskaltel-Euskadi has returned to get a stage victory in the Tour de France, an important victory for us. The victory came through a lot of work for the whole group, it was based on teamwork so it tastes better.

"I am left feeling that we should have finished with two more riders in the Tour; that's the only pain I've got. We were very combative and courageous. We led for a few days in the mountain classification, and out riders did a good job ... I think Mikel's [stage] victory has done justice to the work done."

Linus Gerdemann (Team Milram) - 81st on stage, 24th overall @ 38:35

"Things certainly didn't go as wished this year. I came to the Tour with other ambitions. In the end, the Tour showed what happens when you are not 100 percent at the start. Nevertheless I had a good first week and rode relatively consistently. Looking to the coming years, I can see what I have to work on."

Kim Andersen (Saxo Bank directeur sportif)

"We are very pleased with the rewards of this year's Tour de France which has been a race beyond all expectations. The whole team has demonstrated world class and with Andy and Frank as leading figures, we have demonstrated that we can compete for the overall victory in the years to come.

"I would say thank you to the fans who turned up during the stages to support our team. It has an enormous impact on the riders especially when it hurts the most out there."
 

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