Tour de France: Stage 18 finish line quotes

Dumoulin, Froome, Landa, Aru and Brailsford discuss time trial

Chris Froome (Team Sky) - Tour de France stage 18 winner

"I really didn’t expect to beat Tom Dumoulin today. I think that the key to the race was about pacing so I started off the first half steady with control and then in the second half I gave it everything that I had."

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin) - second place stage 18

"I’m satisfied but I don’t think it’ll be enough to win the stage. I think Froome in his best form can beat my time. I felt good on the steep bit at the beginning but I felt I was losing a bit of strength on the longer stretches of 3-4%. It’s easy to lose time on a course like this. I did a good time trial but I don’t think it’s good enough to win."

On his future GC ambitions...

"I hope to lose some weight in the future so I can really compete in the Grand Tours. So far my climbing abilities are good, but not good enough yet to really compete for the podium. But it's getting close, but to compete for the podium in the Tour de France I need to make another step. I'm getting close, you can see today it's a climbing TT and I'm second, but there's a difference between going full gas every day for three weeks and me taking back some time yesterday. I think I need to make another step, but it's looking very promising."

Mikel Landa (Team Sky)

"I took this time trial with no real pressure. It wasn't an easy day, but mentally it does become easier because you are more relaxed. I'm now prepared for the final mountain stages. It's a tricky time trial, there are a lot of changes of rhythm out there."

David Brailsford (Team Sky)

"I think Chris was one of the only riders using a disc wheel, but we spent a lot of time doing the calculations, and it came out right, thankfully."

On comparison with Dumoulin...

"Both teams went for a similar setup. When you watch what Tom is doing, particularly in the time trial, you can see they're really pushing forward and challenging us. So we'll have to watch them very carefully. It's one of those decisions, everyone will look at it and take it to Rio for sure. The pacing strategy is always important, and Tom went out a little faster than Chris today, and then Chris came back. But there's nothing between them in my opinion. It's going to be a super clash at the Rio Games I think."

Fabio Aru (Astana)

"I'm happy with my result today. For me this was an important test because it came deep into the third week. Now I've got to recover as much as possible and perhaps even spend some time with my parents who are here to cheer me on. Then we'll be fully focused on the final two stages.

"I hope to continue doing well in the final stages. It's good to hear that people have noticed I'm in the race too, even if I prefer to let my legs do the talking.

"We saw yesterday how strong the team was yesterday, especially Nibali, who is helping me a lot despite being sometimes being criticised. I can only thank him and hope we can be as strong all the way to Paris."

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