Rider reactions after Tour's sixth stage

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) after stage 6, in which he crashed.

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) after stage 6, in which he crashed. (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Alessandro Ballan (Lampre - NGC) - seventh on stage, 55th overall @ 4:35

"The arrival was suited to me and I wanted to try to get a result. The rain made the race very insidious; I didn't want to take too many risks before the start of the climb because I felt the bike slip on the slimy asphalt and I had seen many riders who had already fallen.

“I had to come to the finale with less punch than fast men such as Hushovd and Freire. Despite the bruises, my condition is improving and I will support [the team] in the next few attempts to get a win."

Carlos Sastre (Cervélo Test Team) - 30th on stage, 23rd overall @ 2:44

“The sixth stage of the Tour was very fast and dangerous. It was the first day that there was lots of rain and it was really technical. The Astana team had an impressive capacity to control the race. The final part became insane and it was very difficult to concentrate due to the large number of falls. The road was very dangerous, although this was balanced out with the impressive number of people watching throughout the race - I think having this time on Spanish roads has been very nice.

“The team did a lot of work from the start of the stage in order to keep the breakaway in check for Thor. I think it was great that in the end - even though the team suffered several falls to two important riders like Hayden Roulston and Heinrich Haussler, who then weren't able to help Thor - he had all the help of Brett Lancaster on the final climb against the other sprinters.

“Thor has finally achieved that first stage victory for the Cervélo team in this Tour de France, which is a great motivation for all. We finish the week with the reassurance of having achieved a stage victory. During this sixth stage I had a fall, which fortunately was not more than some bumps and scratches, but nothing that could be of importance. Additionally, we have spent another day in this Tour and we finally reach the mountains tomorrow.”

Amets Txurruka (Euskaltel-Euskadi) - 112th on stage, 98th overall @ 6:44

"It was a pity that between the breakaway riders we couldn't win the stage. [David] Millar was more attentive to the Chavanel's condition and when he attacked Millar surprised me.

“I went solo and I knew that it was difficult to catch because he's a great rider, but I had to try. It was approaching the Pyrenees and we are increasingly close to our territory. These stages are very complicated due to the great stress that the wind and rain brings... They are days where the most important thing is to have no serious mishap that may harm you for the rest of the Tour."

Filippo Pozzato (Team Katusha) - sixth on stage, 36th overall @ 3:18

"I tried to anticipate the sprint because I saw my rivals were faster than me in the finale. The speed of the group slowed down with 350 metres to go so I started my attack. If they didn't follow me immediately I think I could have done better. They only passed me in the last 40 metres."

Alberto Contador (Astana) - 23rd on stage, third overall @ 0:19

"To meet your people... it's very good for everybody and it's fantastic that this huge number of people have welcomed us."

"[Tomorrow] will be an very interesting day because there is going to be a great quantity of riders that have to risk a lot from far a long way [from the finish] because they have lost a lot of time. Everybody wonders if one or other of us [Contador or Armstrong] will be under attack, but they also have to attack other riders."

"[The other Pyrenean stages are] less dangerous than Andorra, which finishes up hill, but they are all going to be important because it will be necessary to take advantage of any stage with mountains."

"Sastre, who attacks from far away, and Evans will be the most dangerous [tomorrow]. They will be the two riders who will make the race, although the Schleck brothers are also obliged to move and play their cards."

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