Tour de France stage 8 finish line quotes

Froome, Brailsford, Valverde, Thomas, Yates, Van Avermaet, Portal, van Garderen, de Jongh

Chris Froome (Team Sky) - Tour de France stage 8 winner and current overall leader

"It wasn't planned. It was just bit of fun really. I thought I'd give it a try, I had a go on the climb and nothing was sticking and I thought I'd give it a go and see what I could do on the descent – see if I could catch someone out. It was real old-school bike racing, just fun. Maybe I spent a bit too much, let's see. Tomorrow is hard day and 20 seconds isn't a huge margin but I'll take every second I can get at this stage.

"We do mess around in training racing each other downhill, so that comes in handy. Henao is still up there on GC. He's doing really well and he's another card for us to play. If he can go up the road and take a stage, he can go into yellow."

Dave Brailsford (Team Sky general manager)

"When people think you're predictable or conservative, then you've always got the element of surprise and we thought we'd use that this year and we have the riders to do it. I think it'll keep people guessing. We do a lot more than people think in terms of imaginative tactics.

"In a race like this you have to take every second you can, there's always the risk of going deep today and the effect tomorrow. That guy [Froome] has something incredible about him, when he sees an opportunity he takes it and he never ceases to amaze us, and he showed why he has won two Tours already.

"Everyone finds an excuse not to ride, BMC don't want to ride, others don't want to ride, but we've come here to win the Tour and we're happy to ride. If you want to come and win the Tour then come on guys, use your team. Yes it's a long race but at some point someone has to step up.

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

"We expected that, we knew it would be a tricky stage. We had a pretty intense pace toward the end of the stage, but it wasn't fast enough, unfortunately.There are lots of mountains to come, the team is feeling good. Nairo can be very strong but we have to wait and see.

"I was with Nairo toward the end, and tried to stay with him the best I could. But Froome was just so fast, and he risked everything in the turns. That's the reality. Froome raced well."

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

"It was just such a hard day. We were racing all day and the break didn't go until the Tourmalet, which made it even harder. It was a really solid day. [Froome] just took advantage of that. He could tell everyone was on their limit, so why not have a go? Then once he gets that gap they hesitated a bit, no matter how committed Quintana is, they're always going to look at each other behind and he's always going to gain that little bit. So it was great."

Are you surprised Froome took he kind of risks he took on that descent?

"No. He takes bigger risks than I do in training. I'm not surprised. He's a bit of a nutcase when it comes to that."

What was team plan before he attacked?

"It was just to control. We didn't want a break to go too far. But all of the sudden with the heat and the hard day their legs just sort of went and we came a lot closer to them than we wanted.

"Movistar kept pushing the pace and we kept slowing it down a little bit. We were kind of juts controlling today. That's all we wanted to do. But like I say, it was just do full-on and so hard, and he took advantage of that."

Tomorrow is even harder, the ninth consecutive day of racing. How much have you guys saved for that?

"It's going to be really tough. It's all about feet up now and getting some food in us and try and recover as best as possible, because tomorrow is even tougher than today."

Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange) - Best Young Rider

"I'm ok. I had pretty bad luck yesterday, a few stitches, cuts and bruises but I got lucky.

"Today was tough but I got through ok. I didn't really know what was going on, I was just hanging on for grim death. It was a tough day from the start so I'm happy to just get through. We'll see how it goes but hopefully I can keep the white jersey. It's hard to stay if I'll hold onto it for the duration, I came here for stages not GC, but we'll see what happens next couple of weeks."

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) - former race leader

"It was a really hard day. I was hoping a break would go before the Tourmalet, but [when it didn't] you know it's full gas the whole day. I had a bike change on the Tourmalet so was dropped there and I knew the race was over.

"I'm happy I could ride another day in yellow. It's a special feeling. For my type of rider it's quite hard to get yellow so to have it three days is really nice."

Nicolas Portal (Team Sky directeur sportif)

"I think the level of the bunch is so high now, the GC contenders, with the teammates, with the staff, there are less gaps between teams. Once you get an opportunity you need to take it. Last year was a perfect example, we took the first mountain stage and it was very hard. Then you recall, the last week Chris was a bit sick, and we just managed. Quintana almost came back on the yellow. So you know, when the team is strong around, maybe it wasn't the plan to go full gas but we had this plan in case, if the race is hard, and it's what we did, actually, the race was full on. Chris is feeling good, so we just took it."

On Froome's descending style:

"We never saw him in the race doing this. We can see more and more riders doing that. It looked a little dangerous when they sit on the frame, you can see the balance is not the best. You can see on TV the bike is really moving. But, also the aero position is really good, so they feel straight away when they do that they gain speed and momentum. Then when they lose momentum they need to start pedaling in this position. It looks a bit ugly, but when something works, that's how it is."

Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing)

"Sky was riding tempo, and I think it was Valverde who started opening up the attacks. Nairo was just kind of bang, bang. It looked like it altogether over the top, but then Froome put in one last sneak attack right at the top there, and I was thinking, 'Oh, well that's a long way to go downhill if we roll. That's kind of a bold move. But you can never underestimate Froome. If you give him an inch he'll take a mile."

Did you think Froome would be the one to make that move?

"No. All day it kind of looked like he was happy to sit and wait for tomorrow's hard stage. He looked pretty defensive today, but, man, he caught us all by surprise there."

What did you see from BMC today?

"I saw Caruso was really strong. The whole team was working really well together. There were guys like Mickey Schar, who was surviving over the Tourmalet. You know, that's pretty impressive. I think me and Richie are going to be right up there in all of the mountains to come. We're going to have a really good domestique there with Caruso to help us."

Steven de Jongh (Tinkoff director)

"First of all we had Rafa up there to try and go for the stage win, but with Pinot up there it was a difficult situation and they never got a lot of time. Already yesterday after the stage Alberto felt very tired. It cost a lot of energy to recover from his two crashes, and he said to Roman that he can go for his own race because Roman needs a contract and Alberto says if I feel very bad you can go for your own race.

"[Rafa] was feeling good at the bottom, and so when they started to attack at the bottom he had a go, but the situation there was not optimal for us."

How is Contador feeling now?

"Yesterday he was, of course, more or less happy that he didn't lose time, but he also felt his body, and the two hard crashes the first and second stage, they ask a lot of energy. We see some other riders already getting dropped all day after being crashed, and Alberto was still there. I think that is already a little miracle. But today he lost time, of course, and now it's just recover and recover, and we'll see. We have to get back together and we wait for the Alps."

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