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Reaction to Stage 15

By:
Daniel Simms
Published:
July 20, 2009, 8:56 BST,
Updated:
July 20, 2009, 1:09 BST
Edition:
Latest Edition Cycling News, Monday, July 20, 2009
Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank)

Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank)

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Contador king as peloton shatters

Lance Armstrong (Astana) - Ninth on stage, second overall @ 1:37 “Saxo set the tempo from the bottom. They were going all out. I think we were all on the ropes. A few attacks here and there and I tried to go with a couple. When Alberto went he showed he’s the best rider in the race, certainly the best climber. You know, when everyone’s on the limit and you can accelerate again and I’ve been there, that’s how you win the Tour. Hats off to him. Also hats off to the Schleck Brothers, they rode good too."

Andy Schleck (Team Saxo Bank) - Second on stage, fifth overall @ 2:26 "I am now concentrating on the work ahead of us. This was the most difficult mountain stage of the last week. The review is positive: I booked profits today and may start again Tuesday in the white jersey."

Chris Anker Sørensen (Team Saxo Bank) - 37th on stage, 31st overall @ 12:06 "It was a tough day where we did everything we could to dominate the race and we can see that the pressure on the competitors at the beginning of the climb made its clear mark on the events in which the front group was reduced to a handful of riders. It was fantastic to see so many Danes on the mountain side who were out to support us."

Bjarne Riis (Team Saxo Bank director) - “It was a good day for Team Saxo Bank. We launched the attack like we planned. Alberto Contador was simply the best today but we are very pleased with our effort and also the results of our efforts to create the race.”

José Ivan Gutierrez (Caisse d’Epargne) - 101st on stage, 63rd overall @ 41:45 “I decided beforehand that I had to try and go with a break. Our team has been rather discreet during the last week and it was necessary to try to achieve something. It did not request a big effort from me because I felt very well and I like that kind of start for a stage: with hills which request force and power. Unfortunately Tony Martin and Mikel Astarloza made part of the break and as a consequence the bunch did never the gap increase too much. We were caught at the beginning of the last climb. You feel of course tired after such an effort and I will welcome the rest day like everybody else. I will try again next week because I really would like to win a stage in this Tour. I am feeling well, I am also recovering very well and generally in a three weeks stage race I use to feel each day better. There six stages left and I will try to take advantage of every opportunity.”

Simon Spilak (Lampre) - 70th on stage, 120th overall @ 1:35:29 “I’m happy for my performance and for the award: it’s funny thinking that in Colmar I had such a bad day and I was the last at the arrival! – It was in the program of the day to enter in the breakaway, while my attack at 20 km to the arrival began because I saw that there was no more cooperation among the attackers and that the main bunch was recovering very fast”.

Steven De Jongh (Quick Step) - 160th on stage, 160th overall @ 2:10:50 “Today was really hard. For the entire first part of the stage I couldn’t eat anything to refuel, and I had constant nausea. My muscles were aching; I had to put all my experience and will into finishing this stage. I'm really happy that tomorrow there is the rest day.”

Peter Velits (Team Milram) - 18th on stage, 23rd overall @ 7:58 "That was a damned hard mountaintop finish. I felt well and am satisfied with my performance. My form is getting better and better. Now I am looking forward to the rest day.“

Linus Gerdemann (Team Milram) - 38th on stage, 24th overall @ 8:20 "We went into the final climb with the whole team near the front, in order to find the right position for the climb. Then it turned into a classic climb. I didn't have the best legs today and in the finale just tried to lose as little time as possible.“

Christian Henn (Team Milram director) - "The stage turned out as expected. Our riders did their best. In the team ranking we are still in a good fourth place. That shows that we have a good, diverse team. On Wednesday comes the next hard stage.“

Mikel Astarloza (Euskaltel Euskadi) - 21st on stage, 19th overall @ 5:37 "We tried again and finally we were unable to collect any prizes. We're showing how to be very combative and striving to achieve our goals, but on the Tour there are many interests and is difficult to get a victory. I know that for much of the stage I was virtual yellow jersey, but I had more important goals because I knew that it was circumstantial. The point was to contest the stage win or to gain time, but that has not been the case. It was a break with people from many levels and we rode fast until there was some slippage. Tomorrow is the second rest day, we will recover from the past week, as the Alps, the time trial in Annecy and the Mont Ventoux will be very demanding."

Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo TestTeam) - 76th on stage, 77th overall @ 56:31 "It was full-on all day. It wasn't especially easy or hard, it was just a high tempo the whole time. The speed was fast, but it's always like that heading toward a climb. It's always stressed and hectic and everyone fighting for position before the climb, but that's normal. We just tried to keep Carlos out of the wind until we got to the climb. I don't even know what happened after that. I am suffering a little bit from the energy I used the other day when I won the stage. I used a bit of energy in the breakaway. I am looking forward to the rest day."

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