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Stage 15 reactions

By:
Cycling News
Published:
July 24, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 22:33 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News for July 24, 2007

Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana): "Yesterday I had no legs, I didn't feel very well in my head and I...

Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana): "Yesterday I had no legs, I didn't feel very well in my head and I had no motivation at all. I understood during the yesterday's stage that I wouldn't win the Tour this year. My teammates were wonderful, they encouraged me a lot this morning. That's what make me attack in the first kilometers. I felt good, as well as my legs. At the first break, I thought there were too many riders and that I had to go on with my effort. As I saw I could make it, I tried to be alone and first at the top of the last climb, in order to be sure to win the stage. Today is a great victory. For sure, I wasn't lucky the first two weeks and without my fall, things could have been different. But that's sport…"

Juanjo Cobo (Saunier Duval): "This morning we were saying that Mayo, De la Fuente or I should be among the breakaways of the day. We tried our best and the break seemed to fly down the first mountain pass. Although the leading group was made of more than twenty men, we were going well. I was doing OK, which I believe Vinokourov noticed, because he wouldn´t take his eyes off me. He followed me wherever I went and I did the same with him. We knew that the rider who managed to lead over the top of the last climb would take the stage, so we bet everything on it. Finally, Vino proved to be the rightful winner. I´m happy because I came to my first Tour ever just to go as far as I could. I had a bad day yesterday and the only thing I could do today was to try and do my best in the breakaway to grab a stage win. The Tour hasn´t finished yet; there are several stages ahead. Wednesday can be good to break clear. Of course, many other riders must be thinking the same! Anyway, the rest day is just what I need to regain strength."

Kim Andersen (Team CSC director): "The stage turned out the way we'd anticipated and I'm very satisfied with the fact that we managed to get two of our guys in the break and both Carlos Sastre and Fränk Schleck did well in the favorite's group. This secured us a good result in the Team's Competition, where our goal is to land among the top-three for the sixth year running - which is quite good statistics really."

Erik Breukink (Rabobank director): "I am not disappointed with [Denis Menchov]. On the contrary, it is admirable how quickly he adapted to his new role. Betting everything on one cyclist is better at this moment. [Cadel Evans, Andreas Klöden, and Levi Leipheimer] have lost another minute and appear to be too far behind at the moment. Our job for the last mountain stage is simple: we have to stay in Contador's wheel. That should be doable for the team until the Aubisque. And it is every man for himself during the concluding climb."

Michael Boogerd (Rabobank): "Menchov might have been ahead but there were also very dangerous men on the eventual escape. When Denis fell back towards us, he was able to keep up a good pace. That Rasmussen did not break under Contador's attack was supposed to happen. I could not do that at that moment. But luckily we are another day closer to Paris."

Haimar Zubeldia (Euskaltel - Euskadi): "It has been a pretty stage for the team and for me, a pity that we've not managed to conclude the great work carried out. In previous days I've tried to flee, but for the moves didn't gel. Today, nevertheless, there has been luck and we have gone. I want to thank the great work that have done Rubén and Iñigo so that the escape progressed. The public has carried me in rush in the Pyrénées. I have suffered, but I have enjoyed the great support. Tomorrow we have a day of rest and Wednesday is the Stage of Larrau, that is a terrible ascent. The general is still in play, for which the fight will be very hard. The directors insist we are alive every day, and I believe that we are responding."

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