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Tour de France 2019 stage 11 finish line quotes

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Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) wins stage 11 at the Tour de France

Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) wins stage 11 at the Tour de France (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Michael Matthews wins the sprint for second ahead of Jasper Stuyven during stage 3 at the Tour de France

Michael Matthews wins the sprint for second ahead of Jasper Stuyven during stage 3 at the Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images)
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Race leader Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) at the start of stage 11

Race leader Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) at the start of stage 11 (Image credit: Bettini Photo)
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Trek-Segafredo's Richie Porte drives the chase during stage 10 at the Tour de France

Trek-Segafredo's Richie Porte drives the chase during stage 10 at the Tour de France (Image credit: Getty Images)

Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) - stage 11 winner

"To be honest I can't believe it. I've been close in the last four sprints I've done, and my team never lost faith in me. I never lost faith in my sprint. I knew if everything came together then I can be the fastest on the day, and I think today I showed that.

"I think with about 10ks to go I got caught behind my teammate Jasper who crashed, and I was really at the back of the bunch. Roger came back for me, and he basically took me from the back of the bunch to Groenewegen's wheel in the last few kilometres. Once I had a bit of time to recover, luckily I had the legs to be able to win.

"There's no other race I've dreamt of winning since I was a young kid. I can't believe it. The Tour de France is something so distant from Australia, something we only watched on TV. I can't believe I'm even here, and to win a stage is a real dream come true for me." (ASO)

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)

"I think he was putting a little bit too much stress on himself because it didn't work out in the first days, and he almost had the stage win so close, and now finally it worked out.

"Actually, I couldn't do anything for him because there was a small crash with 10km to go and he was a bit too far behind, but Roger [Kluge] brought him back, and he won. He did it mostly by himself and so great job by him.

"From day one we were there on the podium with third place and the young rider's jersey, mountain jersey, and with my win the pressure was off the team. Everyone felt some relief because the Tour can't go any better with a stage win - you can get two stage wins - but we already had a great Tour with one. Everyone was more relaxed ahead of this victory, and now Caleb finished it off and we have two stage wins. We are one of the best teams here and we can be happy." (Eurosport)

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) - overall leader

"In the first part it wasn't super difficult, I had good legs, I just tried to stay out of trouble in the final sprint. It will be a difficult day, the first big adventure in the Pyrenees." (ASO)

Michael Matthews (Sunweb)

"It was decided on the rest day, yesterday, that we were too close on the green jersey points to continue going for bunch sprints and green jersey, so we thought to reverse the roles and give Cees [Bol] a chance at a sprint. It was a short stage, so it suited him a bit better than it suited me. It worked out quite well. I gave away some green jersey points to [Peter] Sagan with the intermediate sprint and final, so I should be, normally, out of the green jersey by now and I can go for the stages and the breakaways.

"The green jersey was always in the back of my mind. The team never wanted me to go for it because we wanted to go for the stages, but I was never going to give it away so easily. It’s hard to swallow at the start but everyone wanted to see the fight between me and Sagan all the way to Paris. It’s a bit unfortunate that I didn’t have better sprints in the first week. I was a bit too far back. We are in this situation now. We supported Cees in the sprint, and did the best for him as we could, and tomorrow we try again." (Eurosport)

Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo)

"In the grand scheme of things it wasn't a terrible crash, but I did hit my head fairly hard. We were up at the front so it was pretty indiscriminate the crash was here.

"It's probably a relief to get the first crash over and done with. I hope it doesn't affect me tomorrow - we'll see."