Tour de France: Stage 15 finish line quotes

Reaction from Thibaut Pinot, Simon Yates, Geraint Thomas and more

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) – stage 15 winner

"I'm very proud of what I did today. It was an extremely hard day, really from the start to the finish. I raced the way I like to, try to be aggressive, and I managed to pull it off. I'm really happy.

"Today was the other day that I would have had a chance, so nothing really changed for me. I was just taking it with both hands. Adam was not really great yesterday, but he's a great rider and he'll be back. No worries about that.

"I was worried that they were catching me. I was trying at the bottom of the climb - I had Simon [Geschke] with me, he was a really good companion all the way through the valley and on the descent. He did a really good job, but I really needed to go at that point. I wasn't really confident of staying away. We needed to go early and make sure we had a big enough gap. That's what I did in the end.

"I'm very tired now, that one took a lot of effort. There are some more chances, we'll see what it holds." (ASO)

Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ) – second on stage 15

"It was my weather, a beautiful stage as I like it. I had to enjoy it! I had good sensations. I knew that the final was flat so I could put myself in the red in the steep part. I wasn't taking too many risks. I took time on everyone again, that's the main thing.

"We must continue now – we're moving up the ranking and the toughest stages are coming. When you have good legs, you have to enjoy them. 

"This was the tactic put in place this morning and it worked well. We can be satisfied. I have David [Gaudu] with me and he did a good job again. I picked up Rudy [Molard] and Seb [Reichenbach]. We showed we are a solid and attacking team. It paid off and it's great when it works!" (Groupama-FDJ)

Mikel Landa (Movistar) – third on stage 15

"In the Tourmalet, it pained me not to dispute the stage victory. This time we didn't make it either, but more because of Simon Yates' strength than my lack of it. We sent three riders ahead and we gave everything for it. The team was phenomenal.

"Yes [I think of the podium], why not? I gave up a lot of time because of the crash, but in the Alps we still have climbs over 2,000 metres in three very demanding stage. Let's see, Landismo never dies.

"It was a pity Quintana couldn't do anything else. A couple of kilometres of relief wouldn't have done me any harm." (AS)

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quickstep) - race leader

"I expected a really hard day like today. I gave everything. My team did a really god job to protect the yellow jersey and to control the race. In the end, voila - I wasn't making it. But I'm really happy to stay in yellow.

"It's one more day in yellow, I'm happy. It was my goal to keep the yellow. I'm really happy I still have it for the rest day and the next stage, but it will be a really hard last week. I just want to enjoy.

"I just have to be foucssed on me. For the GC, the next week will be really crucial. I'm really happy with what has happened already. I have training, I have press conferences and I hope to see my family. I hope I can rest a little bit." (ASO)

Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) – second on GC

"I just tried to pace it when it all kicked off, and then it’s kind of a shame because I got stuck behind Alaphilippe and didn’t want to pull with him in the wheel.

"It was kind of a difficult one, tactics-wise, because I wanted to go, I had the legs to go but I wasn’t going to chase down Egan with the guys in the wheel. It’s like being stuck behind a rock and hard place.

"At least the legs are responding a little bit better. It was a solid start so I didn’t know how – it’s such a mental game now. Everyone is good, everyone is tired. You just need to try and block that out.

"It’s easy to think about the good times last year and think ‘oh, I should be floating’, but I was suffering at time then, so I just need to bite the bullet to dig in." (Eurosport)

Steven Kruijswijk (Jumbo-Visma) – third on GC

"It was very fast again. I got stuck in the wheel of Geraint Thomas, who later attacked. I couldn't go along with Thibaut Pinot – he went a bit too fast for me. Then I had to get back on my feet and we picked up Julian Alaphilippe in the last few kilometres. Then it was head down, drive to the line, and limit the damage.

"I wasn't a bad day. You have to go through every day and one day you are a bit better than the next. It is what it is. I tried to limit the damage. We'll see what the rest day brings. Pinot drove off alone and there was no stopping it. Behind that we did what we could.

"On a climb like this it's man to man. There were three of us [Bennett and De Plus]. During the penultimate climb we rode fast, and in the descent Laurens did his job. We did that because I thought it would be better for me with a hard race. And I wasn't bad either." (NOS)

Egan Bernal (Team Ineos) – fifth on GC

"On the last two climbs we rode a really hard pace, in the final kilometres we were going full gas. Before, G told me I could follow the moves and said ‘you can do your own race'.

"He said it’s better for us if we have two cards to play. Maybe if I follow Pinot and the other guys and if I am in their wheel, maybe they can’t continue [at the same pace]. I think the final was good though.

"I lost time in the time trial and it changed nothing, yesterday he lost some time and it changed nothing and today again I moved closer. We have good communication between us, he’s really honest and I am too. If I am going full gas at some point in the race for sure I will talk with him.

"We need to win the race for Team Ineos, it’s not about Geraint or Egan, it is always about the team." (teamineos.com)

Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) – 15th on GC

“It was a brutal out there today. We expected a big group to go early, and after the disappointment of yesterday I wanted to be in the race again and enjoy racing. I didn’t think they would let me go, so I waited until it was really hard and then made the split on the climb.

I’m looking forward to the rest day now. I’ve been riding GC for two weeks and with yesterday not going to plan, I’m just a bit disappointed to be caught when I did. It’s probably the hardest stage I have ever done at the Tour de France.”

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