Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) - Stage winner
"I can't believe it, beating all those fast guys in the sprint. Ah... Sorry, I can't believe it. It's above anything else. I felt it in the last 10 days, how big this race is. Winning in my first attempt...wow.
"It became quite nervous in the finale. I managed to stay in front and kept our leader Stevie [Kruijswijk] in position. Unfortunately, Dylan was not in the first group and I was allowed to go for the sprint. From the last one, I learned I had to go early, so I went 250m from the line. It was close with Viviani, but one centimetre is enough.
"I think it started quite early at around 70km to go, and we managed to stay in the front and a team, but then there was a roundabout and we were out of position and it broke. Steven [Kruijswijk] and me were at the front, but George [Bennett] lost out.
"When we were in the front group, I could either stay with Steve or try for the sprint, and he said he was OK, so it worked out all OK.
"In the sprint, I was on the wheel of Peter Sagan with a few hundred metres to go, so I decided to come from the back and start early with a lot of speed, and that’s what I did, and it worked and [Elia] Viviani came close but I got it.
"You always have to make the best of it and try in the sprints and it worked. We won the TTT and three stages like today with three different guys and I think that says enough about our team." (ASO)
"EF started it, actually, and then everything came back, but you know with Luke Rowe and [Michal] Kwiatkowski they are masters in this. You know that you have to be awake if they hit the front, and that's what we did.
"In the beginning, you don’t know [who the riders are behind], but then you realise there is a big split and Pinot, Fuglsang and these guys were behind and you have to commit full gas with the team, and that's what we did.
"The other teams have the same position as us, so they were also trying to keep those guys behind, it's only better for them as well and everyone committed full gas.
"There was a possibility at 144km so we took it on there as well but there was not enough wind and it was a bit unexpected but that's more or less every time that it goes in the gutter. It was unexpected." (Eurosport)
Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos)
"I couldn't think of anything better. It was a really good day in the end. We had a little go earlier on, but the wind wasn't really high enough. EF had a little go, then QuickStep, and we were always attentive and ready for anything. It was a really good day in the end.
"From our point of view, we had everyone bar two guys, so we all just committed. There were plenty of guys turning. Behind, you could tell they went full to close it, especially on the climb, and because they didn't do it then, the elastic then snapped and we went and got a big gap.
"It's especially good on a day like today when you never expect it. I think it was just a positioning error from them and they lose a minute and a half. That's how it goes."
Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) - Race leader
"We knew it was going to be difficult in the final, and we tried with my teammates and made no mistake. Unfortunately, we didn't win the stage but we did everything we could do.
"Well, maybe [Pinot, Porte, Fuglsang] didn't lose the Tour de France today, but it's never good to lose time on GC. We were trying for Elia [Viviani] and it split behind. It was a nice day in yellow, and I’m really happy it’s a rest day tomorrow.
"There was a lot of stress in the peloton, but we tried hard and in the end we did everything we could do. Elia will disappointed but we did everything we could." (ITV)
"The whole stage was nervous and chaotic. As soon as the break went there was crosswinds, and everyone was nervous all day. The final 70 or 80 kilometres, maybe 90, was the first time EF put an attack in in the crosswinds and made everyone nervous. I think you just have to stay concentrated the whole time and keep that focus and stay in the top 20 the whole time. It's hard mentally but it paid off." (Eurosport)
Luke Rowe (Team Ineos)
"I think it was a great day. At the start we said at some point this race is going to split. There's strong wind, right direction and you know we gave it a nudge with around 50 kilometres to go and then we just waited and waited. We knew it was going to go at some point and we were all over it with numbers at the front. We were straight on the front foot, we knew it was on us to drive it to the line, I was saying to the guys 'this is a TTT all the way to the finish line', it's a massive day so a massive day for us.
"It's something we said, you could win or lose the Tour today, it could go either way. With 20 or 30 kilometres to go, I said to Geraint [Thomas], it's going to split and that's exactly what we said – you can win or lose the Tour today. It's a long way to go but I think we stuck 1:40 into some good GC guys and to try and get that back in the mountains from these two GC boys that are looking good, it was going to be a tough battle. In terms of the mountains, we've barely dipped our toe in the water, so we'll enjoy the rest day tomorrow and kick on from there and get back to it.
"[Mikel] Landa punctured and then Movistar stopped riding, so keep riding, fine and don't pull but don't roll through and try to slow up the rest of us. I said [to Alejandro Valverde], if you're not going to ride, fine but don't come through and balls it up for us. You won't find many guys classier than Valverde so it's no big deal, save that stuff for the junior racing, but it's no big deal." (Eurosport)
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