Vuelta a Espana: Stage 19 finish line quotes

De Gendt a winner in all three Grand Tours, Contador races with heart

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal) - stage winner

I was in the front when it started, before the race we said there would probably go a big group with the green jersey, the mountains jersey - and those two guys started attacking. We went in the wheel and we had a big group, we had a good ride. I didn't really believe in my chances, but in the final kilometres we came back together and I know I'm not slow in the sprint. I was in the perfect position. I had to do the sprint of my life and go really full until the finish. I'm really happy I can finish it off with a victory.

I didn't expect it to be this year, I was not feeling well in the first week. The second week was OK, now the third week was going better, but it was not really my parcours. I know the final climb was too steep for me, but I had a good group with Bob Jungels - he was pulling very hard to catch the front guys. So it was perfect for me. I didn't expect it, but I like surprises.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) - race leader

[On Contador not getting a gap] It certainly was through no lack of trying. Every stage he's been attacking and during the final and today it was exactly the same.

For us today, and for me certainly, it was about saving as much energy as possible and get through the day without any big issues. I'm quite happy to put today behind us, and we're just focusing everything on tomorrow now.

Of course it's extremely hard climb the Angliru. I don't think it's just going to be on the final tomorrow, it's a very short stage - 117km - we could see fireworks from the start tomorrow and there are some other tough climbs before the Angliru.

I think everyone's tired at this point in the race, but I feel good and the team's good, so hopefully we can finish it off tomorrow.

Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo)

I rode with my heart today, I'm aware of these stages I'm not really going to be allowed to win but today I had good sensations and I thought I'd go for it.

Tomorrow's going to be hard for sure, definitely I'm going to try and gain some time. It's very cold but it's also short. I think it will be crazy.

Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing)

It was a bit of a strange breakaway, as the time gap started getting bigger riders weren't riding because they're obviously protecting their positions in GC. Fair enough. Then coming into the finish I tried a couple of times but it just didn't work.

The finishing group today was world-class riders. Coming into the finish, riders weren't riding with me and I had them on my wheel for a kilometre, they came back behind and they still wouldn't pass so I was a bit frustrated in the last couple of kilometres, but racing is racing. Fair play to De Gendt, he's been in the break all year and it's a good win.

Gianni Moscon (Team Sky)

Contador is attacking every day and we just try to stick together and catch him with the whole team, and Froome can save some energy in the wheel and that is obviously a good experience for him.

We tried to do tempo for all of us so we stay together and then we know on the final downhill and on the flat section we can do a higher speed if we are five turning smoothly. At the end we try to just do our tempo, we don’t care if other guys attack.

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