Tour de France stage 12 - Finish line quotes

Froome, Porte, Yates, Mollema, De Gendt, Thomas, Valverde and more

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) - stage winner

"I don't know what happened, I just saw it on TV. There were a lot of people in the last kilometre. They should think of doing something about it. I got pushed, Serge got pushed, we almost crashed. There wasn't even room for one moto.

"I had the feeling that I have to go in the breakaway today. We knew it was a day either three guys would go in the break and they would take them back with 20km to go, or there's a big break and my feelings said to go. My feeling was right. I dedicate this to Stig Broeckx. We think about him every day, and we hope that his situation gets better in the next days, weeks or months. We fight for Stig.

"How does this compare to your Giro d'Italia stage win on the Stelvio? I think I put them on equal. Both were nice victories. This is of course the Tour, but the Stelvio was more emotional for me. I think I put them on the same level."

Chris Froome (Team Sky)

"What a final. In the final kilometre, the moto braked suddenly in front of us, and Richie, Bauke and I crashed into it, and then the moto behind me ran over my bike and broke it.

"I said to myself 'I have no bike'. And I knew the car with my bike was 5 minutes behind on the road, so I need to run.

"I'm very happy with the commissaires' decision. I think it was correct so thank you to them."

Richie Porte (BMC Racing)

"The crowd was just all on the road and a motor bike stopped right in front of us and we had nowhere to go. The next minute I went straight over the top of the motorbike. It was just a mess.

"Froome was on my wheel and went straight into me. I don’t know what they can do but they need to do something about it because it’s not fair. One minute were 23 seconds in front and then the next thing, for something so silly, everybody was back on us.

"The results can’t stand, surely the jury has to look at it and use some sort of discretion. If you can’t control the crowds what can you control? It’s not really the motorbikes, it’s the crowd. They’re just in your face the whole time, pushing riders and at the top there, that was just crazy."

Adam Yates (Orica-GreenEdge)

"I wouldn’t really want to take the yellow jersey like that, so I’m happy with the decision. If I was in Froome’s position and I’d lost the jersey like that, I’d have wanted the same decision as him. It was pretty dangerous in the last kilometre but the fans make the sport and there’s not many sports where fans can get so close to the athletes. It is what it is. I wouldn’t have wanted to take the jersey like that. Froome is the rightful owner of the yellow jersey."

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)

"It happened so fast when there was just one kilometre to go or less, and suddenly we were on the ground. I don’t know really what happened. I think there was a moto in the middle of the road, maybe because there were so many people there.

"From then on I was trying to get back on my bike. I took the bike and just didn’t think about anything. I just went as fast as possible to the finish.

"We all crashed, then it was chaos. There was a motorbike in the middle of the road. I don’t know why or what he was doing there. But we all crashed, and in my opinion this cannot happen in the last kilometre."

Should the UCI consider this crash?

"Yeah. I don’t know. Normally there’s only a rule for the flat stages if something like this happens n the last kilometre. So I think it’s going to be difficult because then they have to do it next time again. I think Froome was just really unlucky today. We’ll see what happens, and I’ll juts focus on the time trial tomorrow."

Should the peloton have neutralised when Froome was in trouble?

"It was just 800 metres to go, so that’s not the moment to think about anything. I just went full gas to the finish line, then after we can see what happened or what to do with the results."

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)

"The wind on the last climb certainly made it tricky, but there were so many people out there. They made a really big problem. I really don't know what's going on with this Tour. Personally, I don't think it is under control at all.

"There were a lot of difficulties in the last couple of kilometers because of the position of people. I was feeling good, but it is disappointing."

Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)

"We tried to remain as focused as we could today. I had some disappointment because I had to really fight back at the bottom of the Ventoux. But what I saw on Ventoux was it wasn't the best conditions on the bike. There were so many motorbikes in the way, it wasn't safe. You had to brake when you were attacking. We need to have a long conversation about security here. It was unacceptable what happened today. I don't know what will happen with the maillot jaune. I have never seen anything like this on a bike race before.

"There was a really good battle between the GC guys. I stayed just behind. I wanted to ride my own pace, I knew I couldn't be with the very best. I knew Porte and Froome would get away. I could feel my legs were getting better. I am hoping to be at my best in the last week."

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

"It's an accident of the race but these things happen in sport. They hit the moto and fell, but these things happen in cycling.

“We tried to save things as best we could. There's an interesting time trial coming tomorrow."

More on this story:

Nicolas Portal (Team Sky director)

"There was no room for the motos or the riders to pass with the crowds. Chris's bike was broken in the crash and now we're waiting to see if commissaires decide to do something. I was blocked by the commissaires so i was behind Geraint Thomas when the incident happened. We were too far back. Everybody was blocked, including the Mavic neutral service car. It was a nightmare."

Peter Stetina (Trek-Segafredo)

"I was just riding up behind the favourites group and I had a gendarme basically stiff-arming people out of the way just to keep me upright. Guys like Froomey get in trouble for pushing someone out of the way, but it’s ridiculous. Just before the climb a Portuguese flag got thrown in Markel Irizar’s handlebars when we were going full gas in the crosswinds, and it’s dangerous. It adds another element to the racing, and that’s unfortunate that the fans are dictating the race more than the legs sometimes.

"Somehow we’ve gotten this scene where everyone wants to get on TV for a party. You have guys dressed up in Borat costumes showing their ass, and it’s more about themselves than supporting the race sometimes. I don’t understand why you have to act like a buffoon.

"It’s energizing when they are there cheering for you, but it can be too much. It’s a fine line."

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

Are motos a problem at the race?

"Well, obviously it as today for Froomey, but I didn’t see it. I juts seen something on TV for like 10 seconds. But it’s not ideal. I think Froomey as on a decent day, but from point of view the crowd were really close and stuff. But Like I said, I didn’t see what happened up in front."

Has it been particularly bad this year?

"No. It’s been normal. It’s been the usual, with the odd person getting too close, but that’s normal. Obviously, what happened today is unprecedented, really.

"[Frooome] has good legs, and he’s a fighter, so if he does lose however much time, it’ll be all guns blazing tomorrow to get that back."

Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing)

"We were coming around a corner and all of a sudden people were just stopped. I was kind of on the back of the group at that moment so I really got tangled up and lost some time. I can't complain too much, poor Richie [Porte] and [Chris] Froome, they got the worst of it. Me and Quintana also really didn't fare well from that so I don't know, hopefully the jury uses some sort of discretion and is able to take the time with the one kilometer to go or something.

"I didn't see much but it was definitely mayhem out there. The crowds get a little out of control and with so many motorbikes, the road is only so big. Normally when you see a big GC guy in trouble the gentlemen thing to do would be to stop and wait and regroup. You saw that a lot in the past but these days people just seem to want to take advantage of it."

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