Tour de France: Stage 6 finish line quotes

Froome willing to give up yellow, Guarnieri insults Bouhanni, Frenchman refuses to reply

Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) - stage winner

First of all, I want to say that I'm very proud of my team. They did a great job, very different to Liège. We could really bring ourselves into the front at a key moment and keep me there. That was very important for the victory.

The last kilometer was again a little bit freestyle but I had a good wheel, first from Arnaud Demare and then I had to go with 250 to the front. It went perfect, I could start from a great position a little bit behind to see where my competitors go, and yeah, I feel good at the moment.

(Are you aiming for the green jersey?) For sure I have it in my focus, but for now what is most important that you get points at the sprints, that you get those victories because they give you a lot of advantage. That's what counts. For the rest, I try to get the points in the intermediate, then we will see in one and a half weeks. It's still pretty long.

Jacopo Guarnieri (FDJ) - lead out man for Arnaud Demare

Bouhanni is an idiot. He didn’t just pass me, he also put his knee into my bars. He’s a dick, he’s always making people crash. We know he’s like that. He’s probably upset with us because he always loses…

Our lead-out train didn’t go perfectly but we still got second with Arnaud. He didn’t have a perfect sprint, but he showed he’s on great form.

Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) – 4th in the sprint

You can all wait, but I'm not going to talk.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) - race leader

As far as the Tour de France goes, that was as relaxed as it gets for us GC riders. Of course, the sprinters had a big battle in the final, but for us it was a pretty uneventful day - just stay out of the wind, stay on the wheels and save as much energy (as possible) for the days coming up.

(Would you mind losing the yellow jersey?) I think I wouldn't mind giving it up to a breakaway if a breakaway did go, say, 15 or 20 minutes up the road with guys we didn't worry about in terms of the general classification, but of course I wouldn't be that happy to give it up to any of my rivals.

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) - 10th on stage 6

The level of sprinting is so high here in the Tour, even if two guys are missing it’s still a crazy-high level. You have to compete against the best sprinters of the world.

It was crazy. It was super, super fast. I was actually close to Marcel when he started moving slowly up the front, and I just didn’t have the legs to go with him. Even on his wheel in his slipstream there was no way for me to make it the front like he did. That shows his powerful strength.

In the end, I was very, very happy just to be up there again. Yesterday was not so good. I didn’t feel great on the bike, but today already I felt much better, and I could even try to go for a result in the end.

When you see the final metres, especially the gap Demare went through there, I was too far back to see it directly, but when you see it from the top shot, I think there’s almost no space. It’s very, very tight there. He actually moved off his line and went through a very, very small gap there. You have to make right decisions, and as long as everything goes OK, there’s no problem, but when it ends up like me and Cav on the ground, then it’s not so good.

 

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