Tour de France stage 19 - Finish line quotes

Hear from Bardet, Froome, Mollema in Saint-Gervais Mont Blanc

Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale):

"It was just my bike rider's instinct. It wasn't planned at all. The whole team put in an incredible performance. Mikael Cherel just pushed, and pushed and pushed me to do it. At first I thought about GC but when I caught Rui Costa I knew I was going to go for the stage win. That was all that mattered at that point. I have no more words.

"I had no idea what was going on out there. I knew that if Mikael Cherel and I did a good descent together then we had a chance before the penultimate climb. I knew I that I could maintain my pace but you're never 100 per cent sure. I've now won two stages in two years. I just hope can keep this going for two more days."

Chris Froome (Team Sky):

"I think that I hit one of the white lines on the road and lost my front wheel.

"I'm okay, I'm lucky that nothing is seriously injured. I just lost a bit of skin but today is a day when I'm grateful for that four-minute advantage to fall back on a bit. It was great for me to have teammates all the way up until the finish there with Wout in particular and all the guys. It was a great team effort and it feels great to be one day closer to Paris.

"Today showed exactly why ... A crash like that could have gone either way and I'm grateful that nothing is injured. Never a quiet day at the Tour.

"I knew that the car was far back, and my bike, I could see it wasn't useable after the crash. Thanks to Geraint for his bike. I rode that to the finish, and it was alright.

"Tomorrow is going to be hard, it's going to be really hard and I'm sure that I'm going to be a bit stiff after today. Hopefully I can rely on my teammates and it's just one last push."

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo):

"I slid out and was on the ground. I was fast to bet back on the bike but there were tricky parts with a lot of corners, crashes in front of me. At the bottom there were little groups. I started the climb with a gap, 20 seconds back and I couldn't close it. At the bottom, I tried to come back, I had to try and close it there as fast as I could, otherwise it would have been difficult. Pete Stetina pulled on the flat part, but when you start 20 seconds down, I couldn't close it and I just exploded.

"I'm not too badly injured, just a hip and elbow. The classification is gone. I'm tenth now, but that was not the goal."

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky):

"I could see Froome on the front and he was saying chill on the radio but he doesn't do chill, does he. All of a sudden he's on the floor and going 'I need a bike, I need a bike,' so I gave him mine. Then I waited for the team car although they did drive passed me. I wasn't going to run to the finish but luckily they stopped a few hundred meters laters and I got on this, and that was that."

Richie Porte (BMC):

"It was such a hard day. It was a mess in the final. Everyone kind of came down. It worked out well, we fought hard and tomorrow is another day. Today on the uphills and the corners it was slippery too. We will see what happens tomorrow and how it pans out. I gave it my all today."

Diego Rosa (Astana):

"We knew that something was going to happen because everyone is at their limit. Aru showed he was feeling well yesterday in the time trial and so we decided to attack the stage today. We were proven right. And it also helped on the descent in the rain. We were safer up front.

"We kept saying that we'd take things day by day and try to pull something back. We've done it. It's just a pity the Tour is almost over. But Tomorrow is another tough day and we gave a lot today. Tomorrow we'll see who has recovered and who hasn't." 

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