Reactions from the Tour's 16th stage

Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom)

Pierrick Fedrigo (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Carlos Barredo (Quick Step) – 9th on stage, 46th overall @ 1:15:50: “Today my legs were super. I realised it right away on the first climb, the Peyresourde. I tried a solo act and I made my move when there were still about 46km to go to the finish line. I managed to gain a good margin on the rest of the group but unfortunately in the last 40 km the wind was always against me and this didn’t help at all. I’ve worked hard to be competitive in the Tour de France but I still haven’t won a stage and I think today I deserve to.

“This performance however doesn’t cancel out the horrible gesture that I made at the arrival of the sixth stage. The day after was the worst in my career. But with today’s performance I hope to have shown everyone that the real Barredo is a fair rider, faithful and steely.”

Andy Schleck (Saxo Bank) – 21st on stage, 2nd overall @ 0:08: "Today it was all about taking care of myself and staying with the leader's jersey. If the front group had been closer I would have tried to reach them but the gap was too big. Now, I'm really looking forward to climbing Tourmalet on Thursday. I hope and think I can still win the Tour."

Carlos Sastre (Cervelo Test Team) – 55th on stage, 15th overall @ 9:02: “I was looking again for the breakaway, like always. We went to the maximum, but it didn’t work out. We went over two climbs, but the gap was hovering around 25-30 seconds, and no one really took enough digs to make a real difference. Finally I decided to stop because I realised it would be difficult to stay away.”

Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Transitions) – 19th on stage, 10th overall @ 7:51: "We came into the day knowing we were going to work to preserve my general classification position and that’s exactly what we did. David Zabriskie was great; he was with me all day and rode the front to help bring the gap back. I’m really proud of our team. I know there’s a lot of racing still to come but we’re going to keep working hard and taking it day by day."

David Zabriskie (Garmin-Transitions) – 62nd on stage, 116th overall @ 2:48:09: "Our goal for today was to protect Ryder’s general classification position, so I worked to bring the gap down for the last 40k. Omega Silence Lotto and Rabobank were working, too. There’s no such thing as an easy day at the Tour de France, and today was no exception, but we did what we set out to do. I’m looking forward to tomorrow’s rest day and I’m happy Paris is in sight."

Gerald Ciolek (Milram) – 14th on stage, 124th overall @ 2:52:45: “With today's profile I had to ride both of the first climbs all out. That was when I noticed that I was in the group with the favorites. I felt very good at that point. My legs were good and that gave me the morale to do it. In the end I wanted to go all out again for the final sprint, and the result of those efforts was not so important.”

Ignatas Konovalovas (Cervelo Test Team) – 60th on stage, 128th overall @ 2:56:19: “It was a really tough ride today. I got to that group, we tried to jump four riders across, but Carlos Barredo set too hard of a tempo for me, so I decided to ride at my own pace. I was hoping to catch them, then I felt that I was not so good on the top of the last climb.”

Team managers/directors

Team Radioshack's Johan Bruyneel: “We had hoped that this little group could stay away with five when Lance attacked on the Soulor. Fedrigo looked very strong. The course wasn’t ideal today to launch an attack and make it to the final but Lance and Horner were in there. It was a very hard day and if you have two guys in there you have 25 percent chance of winning. But everybody was tired and unfortunately Lance and Horner aren’t really sprinters so it was very difficult. Obviously disappointed, we wanted to win the stage but it was a great ride by both of them and we tried everything we could. We have no regrets."

Garmin-Transitions' Matt White: "It’s not over yet but we’re in a great position going into the tail end of the Tour, especially considering the injuries and illness our team has faced since Stage 2. If we’ve shown one thing, it is that this is a team of strong, committed riders. I’m really proud of everything these guys have done, and I think we still have a lot to look forward to.”

Milram's Gerry van Gerwen: "That was surprisingly good, that our sprinter Gerald Ciolek was in the favorites' group up to the finish. The stage was extremely difficult with four climbs and Gerald showed a strong performance."

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