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Reactions from the Tour's 20th stage

By:
Cycling News
Published:
July 26, 2010, 2:17 BST,
Updated:
July 26, 2010, 3:17 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, July 26, 2010
Race:
Tour de France, Stage 20
Mark Cavendish (HTC - Columbia) lets everyone know this is his fifth stage victory of the Tour.

Mark Cavendish (HTC - Columbia) lets everyone know this is his fifth stage victory of the Tour.

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Relief in Paris for a tired peloton

Mark Cavendish (HTC-Columbia) - stage winner, 154th overall @ 3:51:23: My Tour didn't start too well and in the first week I was wondering how it would turn out, but the team rode incredibly strongly for me and I tried to make amends.

As the race progressed my feelings got better and better and winning here in Paris on the most spectacular finish of them all is a great way to end the race. When you win you get confident, when you're confident you win. It's as simple as that.

[HTC-Columbia teammate] Bernie Eisel took me to the tunnel and then Tony Martin dropped me off where I needed to be to go for the win. It's been a real rollercoaster event, but the people here in France always make it special and I want to thank all of them, the team and support staff and all the other people who have helped me all the way.

Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) - 88th on stage, second overall @ 39 seconds & best young rider: When you're that close to taking the overall win you can't help thinking about what you could have done differently.

But with two mountain stage wins, the overall youth competition, six days in the leader's jersey and overall second, you're really not in the position to complain. In addition, Fabian took two stage wins and was in the lead over six days as well so we had a great Tour de France.

Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) - second on stage, 150th overall @ 3:44:38, points classification winner: It's an outstanding result that, considering also the two stage victories, makes this Tour de France unforgettable.

The green jersey is the best prize for the regularity of performances and results: I always gave my best and the team was always perfect, so the victories and the results came as a consequence.

At the beggining of the Tour the points classification was not my target but, stage by stage, I understood that I could be competitive and now I'm very happy that I decided to battle for this result. A special thank to the team and to the sponsors: they were always with me, especially in the tough moments.

Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) - seventh on stage, 111th overall @ 3:12:57: My tactic and the team's was go to the lead and do the lead out on the last corner. I just wanted to stay focused on Lancaster's wheel and you know what happens behind me, happens behind me. Again today I didn't have good legs in the sprint.

Cadel Evans (BMC Racing) - 125th on stage, 26th overall @ 50:27: Being here with George [Hincapie] and Karsten [Kroon] has been very enjoyable despite my lack of results.

In that regard, I look back at this Tour fondly. It's been a real pleasure to ride alongside those guys - I had a good group of people around me. An optimistic attitude is the biggest change in the environment that I'm in now; that goes a long way especially when things aren't going well.

Jens Voigt (Saxo Bank) - 89th on stage, 126th overall @ 3:23:31: It's the 13th time I enter Paris after a long and tiring Tour de France and I have the exact same feeling every single time: goose bumps. It's a goose bump situation.

Last year I wasn't able to go all the way with the guys but this year, I would have done the final stage on a three-wheeled bike to cross the finish line with my friends.

Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) - 73rd on stage, 31st overall 59:17, most combative rider: This is a prize of which I'm very proud, and which I already won in 2008 - and one I wish to share with all the team. If there were a prize for the hardest fighting team it would surely belong to Quick Step. The results I achieved are the fruits of the labours of the entire squad.

And let me give a special shout out to [Jerôme] Pineau. JeJe was a key player in both of the stages I won. He deserved the award as well for his consistency and skill, even when he suffered a fall which cost him the polka dot jersey. My season will continue at the Clasica San Sebastian. I'd like to do well on a course that is perfectly adapted to my strengths.

Jakob Fuglsang (Saxo Bank) - 96th on stage, 50th overall @ 1:38:32: It was a huge experience riding into Paris with loads and loads of people cheering on us from the side of the road.

It's kind of surreal that crowds like these come to see some crazy cyclists thunder through the streets but this way it's an experience for them and for us like it's been throughout the Tour.

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