Stage 14 reactions

Erik Breukink (Rabobank manager): "The captain cannot perform without a strong team behind him, and...

Erik Breukink (Rabobank manager): "The captain cannot perform without a strong team behind him, and the efforts by Thomas Dekker, Michael Boogerd, and Denis Menchov are to no avail if the captain is unable to finish it. This was a dream scenario come true. Before the race you think about what could happen and then you are hoping that Rasmussen will have someone by his side for as long as possible. He started the concluding climb with three men with him and they held on for a long time too. It almost could not have been better. It was perfect.

"We have increased the lead on Evans and Klöden, and that is today's gain. We quickly found out on Plateau-de-Beille that Klöden and Evans were not in superb shape. That is why Boogerd gave a little extra while in the lead and Menchov also gave a major tug. That paid off. But Monday will be completely different. A stage with five climbs spread out over the entire day. That will be very hard to control."

Thomas Dekker (Rabobank): "I used to watch the Festinas do this. This shows that I am in good physical condition because there is no way you can do this if you are not. In the end I limited my own losses to five minutes. It is very satisfactory that I can take on this role in my first Tour de France and it proves that much can be expected from me in the future."

Michael Boogerd (Rabobank): "Thomas and I kept up a pretty good pace while we were in the lead. We had no choice but to defend and we did that really well today. Rasmussen yelled 'ho, ho' at first but, looking back on it, I am glad that I kept going for a little longer because we did good business today. I was hoping for the role I have now because I would like to conclude properly. This is a good start. But I know the Tour pretty well by now, and I know things are still going to get rough."

Iban Mayo (Saunier Duval): "I feel bad, because my fans traveled far only to cheer on me and also because the team were great. I really wanted to offer them a triumph. I believed I was doing better. The team dragged the peloton very well in Pailhères, but in the final stretch I hardly felt my legs and I had to slow down. Perhaps what happened today was a consequence of yesterday´s time-trial, I don´t know... Then, in Plateau-de-Beille, when I realised I wouldn´t be able to make it I didn´t even try because, as I said before, my goal here is to grab a stage win. Maybe on Monday or Wednesday... who knows."

Andreas Klöden (Astana): "It was a very tough day for me. I suffered a lot because of my injuries at my right knee that I had since yesterday after my fall in the time trial. Well, there are still two very difficult stages to overcome. I'll see day by day."

Antonio Colom (Astana): "As my place in the overall ranking isn't important, I waited for Klöden and Kashechkin as Contador and Rasmussen passed me by. It's my job to work for the team, in order to be on the podium at the end. Today, I'm happy with my performance but I'm also a bit sad for the team. After yesterday's stage, I thought we could make it again today. But that's life…"

Kim Andersen (Team CSC manager): "Sastre delivered today and he demonstrated that he is between the strongest riders in the peloton again this year. We knew, he wouldn't be able to keep up with Contador and Rasmussen if they were on form, so his chance would present itself if they were to run out of strength at some point, like some of the other favorites did today."

Kim Kirchen (T-Mobile): "I performed as well as I could have expected to. Already on the second last climb, the tempo of the favourite's group was incredibly high. I knew then that I wouldn't be able to stick it on the last climb, so I rode at my own rhythm."

Back to top