Tour de France: Stage 13 finish line quotes

Hear from Sagan, Demare, Kristoff and more about the bunch sprint in Valence

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) - Stage winner

Today's stage was like a piece of gold for us I think. It's fantastic, I mean also with the flat stage everyone recovered a bit in the group. I think everyone is happy we had a relaxed stage. In the end, I'm very happy I won today, it's very nice for me and I'd like to thank my teammates, they did a very good job again.

I think I was a little bit late. I was a little bit behind in the final 600 metres. In the last climb I tried to bring myself to the front, and after I stayed on the wheel of Kristoff and I'm very happy to have beaten him.

Well It looks like [the green jersey is untouchable] but it's still important to get to Paris. (Europsport)

Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) - Second place on stage

Unfortunately, [Sagan] managed to come around me, and I tried to keep him behind but he's unbelievable. He's beaten me like this several times before and again today. I'm a little disappointed. Yeah, OK, I had a good finish but unfortunately it was not enough.

I didn't go too early. I waited after Demare started and I kept the pace to the finish line, but he was just faster. We lost each other at the end a bit. I had to do the final positioning myself and I came in a good spot, but it wasn't enough.

Arnaud Demare (Groupama-FDJ) - Third place on stage

It's a little bit strange to be involved in a sprint when we were on the Alpe d'Huez yesterday and after the other riders dropping out I really wanted the sprint today. I took the sprint exactly how I wanted to but they were just stronger than me. I didn't feel like I made any mistakes today, everything was perfect. Maybe I should've gone earlier, maybe that was the way I could've beaten them.

I don't know [if there was a headwind], after a few metres I was hurting a bit.

Other than a stage victory I'm not missing much to be perfectly honest, Peter Sagan is a better rider than me. I don't have any regrets, the team worked amazingly for me. Everyone's really tired after competing in the Alps. The sprint was about mental fortitude in the end, in the final 40 kilometres still to go in the valley, I felt exhausted and I had to put it all in. We've been riding a lot and that was not a normal stage.

Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) - Attacked inside final kilometre

It was a hard stage. The bunch was constantly playing with the break, but the guys were smart. They were going fast then slow, fast then slow. The finale was really fast, there were a lot of roundabouts. I decided to stay in around position 20, I knew what was coming and I thought I could use my position to get speed and come from behind. That’s what I did, just not fast enough.

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) - Overall race leader

I think the whole peloton enjoyed an easier day after the last three. It was a stressful finale, as always. We rode well, like we have all race. You try and do as little as possible - every acceleration, you don’t really want to do it, and it hurts a bit more because you’re not totally ready for it. It’s good to get today out of the way.

I don't feel too bad at the moment. I think winning races like Critérium du Dauphiné and Paris-Nice is good preparation for this; you kind of know what to expect. Obviously, it's nice to finish the stage and jump on the bus and shower straight away, eat and rest, but wearing [the yellow jersey] obviously isn't bad, so I'll put up with [the media] a little longer.

[Saturday will] certainly a tough day. It's going to be a big fight for the breakaway, so it'll be hard start in the final. If the break does succeed, there's gonna be gaps, and it's a hard climb so we will see.

I'm trying not to think about [team leadership] at all. It's next Sunday, which doesn't seem that far away, but when you think of all the racing we've got to do, it's a long way. We've got to take it day by day, starting with tomorrow and go from there.

Michael Schär (BMC Racing) - Final survivor of stage 13 breakaway

I kept on believing. I told myself there is always a chance. If they have some problems in the back there is always a chance. If you never give up, one day it works out.

[On winning combativity award] It's cool to have the red number, it's something honourable. Also when I came back to the bunch a lot of guys said 'congrats for the ride', so it's something cool.

Tom Dumoulin (Team Sunweb) - Third overall

[Was today easy?] In the middle part, yes. Towards the end it was pretty fast, hectic and some side winds in the final so a bit of stress but it was OK.

If I see an opportunity I will always take it. It's just a short climb [tomorrow] but I hope there will be some differences in my favour, of course.

[On Sky leadership] So far I haven't seen that, I don't know what will happen in Pyrenees. I just have to stay in my position and improve a little bit and hope for a bad day for Thomas or Froome or both.

So far I'm really happy with my condition, it's even better than the Giro d'Italia I think. You can see, like in the Giro, condition can change really quickly though, you just have to stay fresh and healthy. (Eurosport)

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