Tour de France: Stage 17 finish line quotes

Nairo Quintana gets the stage win, while Geraint Thomas consolidates his lead and Chris Froome falters

Nairo Quintana (Movistar) - Stage 17 winner

It was a hard day, but we'd prepared well for it. It went as exactly as we'd planned. We had [Alejandro] Valverde and [Marc] Soler up front, and their riding helped shake out the peloton. We knew it was a stage for pure climbers and we showed our strength.

I had some difficult moments in the first part of this Tour and lost some time. But I still felt strong and had the energy to finish the race on a high. I usually improve in the third week of the Tour and it's going that way.

I wanted to win for my people in Colombia, after months of hard work. All the support I've had from everyone, as well as my family and friends, really helped me today. We were a bit down in the last days, so we needed this win. It's a wonderful day today. (Eurosport)

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) - Tour de France leader

It was a really hard start to that last climb - Quintana went, Roglic chased and Froome was with him. We managed to force Dumoulin to ride for a bit, then it was really on, then it settled down a bit. I was feeling pretty good, I’d just react as soon as Roglic or Dumoulin moved, so I had a good day.

[On Froome] He wanted to try something so he went early with Roglic, and I just assumed he’d be good. But he wasn't feeling too good toward the top. I think he's still third - he's still up there anyhow.

I don't let myself think about it. It’s honestly just day by day. It's a sprint day tomorrow, so we just rest up now and get ready for that.

[On rivals] Obviously [Tom] Dumoulin and [Primoz] Roglic were strong today and they were active. They're the closest to me along with Froome, but I don't classify him as a rival, we’re teammates. He’s a fighter, for sure he'll keep fighting all the way. It's good to keep the advantage for myself and the team is in a good position now.

Tom Dumoulin (Sunweb) - second overall

I always keep a little bit of faith and hope, but so far, over the last two-and-a-half weeks, [Geraint] Thomas has been the strongest, and that's the situation now. For me, so far it has not been possible to gain time on him. That's it. (Eurosport)

[Putting time into Chris Froome] is a good thing, of course, but it was all I had. Thomas was slightly stronger than I was, so then I have to deal with him.

I was thinking pain. That's pretty much it. The first time that Roglic attacked in the finale, I saw that Froome was in difficulty, but I didn't know if it was a bluff or not. I waited a little bit with my own attack and went to try, but I didn't have the legs to drop Thomas and [Primoz] Roglic, and in the end, I was happy to stay with Roglic, actually. Thomas was just the strongest.

[Can Froome still win the Tour?] Of course, but it's going to be really difficult, especially because his teammate is in yellow and he's definitely so far the strongest in the Tour. I don't really see that happening, Froome winning the Tour, but like you saw in the Giro, anything is possible. It would be difficult, but I'm focused on myself and not on Froome.

I'm here to win it myself or get on the podium. I'm still riding really strong. I'm happy with my own shape so far. So, yeah, I don't know. It could be that Froome is ill today. He did last year's Tour, then the Vuelta and Giro. Maybe it's a little too much, but I'm not here to talk about Froome, actually. Go ask him yourself. (NBC Sports)

Dan Martin (UAE Team Emirates) - second on stage 17

The last two or three days I've felt really good, it's a good sign. I planned to go early, that's why we had guys in the break. It's OK to say you're going to attack early, but you get a lot of wind on these climbs. I had good legs and confidence in the legs that I could do a good climb. Team Sky set a tempo early on on the climb and I'm seven minutes down, so I thought they'd let me go. Quintana came with me and I thought we'd ride together, but he was strong and attacked me straight away. I wanted to go on my own tempo and turn it into a time trial, but the altitude got me in the end. It's pretty high up here.

Quintana lives pretty high, so that'll help him. I wanted to keep him at 10-15 seconds because I can usually close that gap in the final 400 metres, but at this altitude I had nothing left. It was really tough, and he was the better guy on the day. I'm proud of how the team rode and how I rode. It's pretty special to be on a mountaintop finish at the Tour de France.

Jonathan Castroviejo (Team Sky)

Personally, it was good for me - a short stage, hard climbs. I think it was not so bad - three hours racing full gas. It was good for the spectacle. For us, for Team Sky, I think it was good - there is only one more mountain stage and hopefully winning the Tour.

I think there is only one more stage with mountains, and [Thomas] leads by two minutes over Tom Dumoulin. Chris was also very good - with the support of Egan [Bernal]. (Eurosport)

Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale) - 13th on th stage, 2:35 down

A terrible day. My legs just didn’t respond on that final climb. It’s difficult to accept, but that’s sport.

Jan Boven (LottoNL-Jumbo directeur sportif)

[Can you still go for the overall?] For the win, it will for sure be a hard pedal, but we don’t finish now. We showed today how strong we are, and we tried to do something in the race. We will continue like that. Today [Geraint Thomas] showed [he's the best in the race].

[On the TT] On Froome and Thomas it will be a hard one - but we will see. We need to concentrate the next few days and then we do a full on time trial and we see in the finish.

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