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Stage 18 reactions:

By:
Gregor Brown in Angoulême
Published:
July 28, 2007, 1:00 BST,
Updated:
April 20, 2009, 22:34 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News for July 28, 2007

David Cañada (Saunier-Duval): "We knew that, for most riders, the Tour ended today, that it was the...

David Cañada (Saunier-Duval): "We knew that, for most riders, the Tour ended today, that it was the last chance to score a stage win. We tried to be part of breakaways, but everybody did the same thing. Taking stock of my Tour de France, I must say it didn´t live up to my expectations. My inclusion in this race was a last-minute decision because Gómez Marchante fell ill, and I´ve barely managed to finish. Today I couldn´t even try to escape. At this stage in the Tour, if your legs aren´t OK, there´s nothing you can do. I´ve come here to assist other riders, and I think I made my contribution to our teamwork. Individually, however, I couldn´t show what I can do."

Erik Dekker (Rabobank): "This is a boost for the morale. Boogie up front all day. Victory or no victory, it is very impressive that the team has managed to pick itself up. On the bus and at breakfast there was some talk about trying something. But you never know how it will turn out. The atmosphere in the team this morning was very different from yesterday; everyone was eager again. And it was Boogerd's last chance in this Tour."

Michael Boogerd (Rabobank): "I left a small gap, thought he was beat. It turned out he was not. He jumped while in the lead, no one could catch up with him. I knew that Casar was the quickest and I did not want to slug it out in the sprint. I was the strongest one uphill. But I do not weigh enough for a flat sprint, think I weigh barely 60 kilos. I just missed the power. Did not win. Too bad, but it was a good day for the morale. The appetite has returned a little bit."

Kim Andersen (Team CSC manager): "For once we didn't make the break so we took it a bit easy in stead. Making the break was hard for us, because Caisse d'Epargne and Discovery Channel were hot on our tail because of the Team's Competition. So it proved impossible. Fabian has made it through the mountains fine and has tried to take it as easy as possible during the last two stages, so he should be one hundred percent ready for a great result, so let's hope it works out for him."

Bob Stapleton (T-Mobile manager): "Axel was brilliant today. It would have been a great going-away present if he had won. He wants to try and do something special in the world's greatest race. This is the last major race of his career and he is super-motivated. He's not only a very professional rider but he's been a real asset for the team this year. His personal leadership has made a big difference especially to our young guys like Gerdemann, Burghardt and Cavendish. They all get a great boost of confidence whenever Axel is around."

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