Tour de France 2019 stage 12 finish line quotes

Simon Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) – stage 12 winner

"So far I've been saving energy until we got here in the mountains. This was my first chance to try something. Normally I'd be back in the peloton helping Adam, but today I had my own change and I grabbed it with both hands.

"I wasn't very confident of beating either of them, but I just knew from the directors in the car that I needed to be in front coming around the last corner, so I made sure to do that and luckily I held on to win.

"My main priority here is to help Adam; today was one of my chances to get up the road. We're having a fantastic Tour, and long may it continue." (Eurosport)

Gregor Mühlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) – third on stage 12

"In the sprint Simon was more explosive. He was faster, he was for sure the fastest of us. I think I didn't do a big mistake there but at the end he had the better legs.

"I need to push myself in the final a little bit otherwise I get too tired in the head. That's why I tried to push a few times, just small acceleration. I felt pretty good but Simon was faster." (ITV4)

Geraint Thomas (Team Ineos) – second on GC

"We were expecting maybe some attacks on the climb, especially with the gap there being quite small at four minutes, but everyone rode pretty steady and nothing really happened, and we were really happy with that. I think everyone knows it's a big three days now, so people were probably just waiting to get to the finish.

"I'll do [a recon of Friday's time trial course] in the morning, but I've seen it three times already. I like it. It's fast and it should be hard, but, yeah, a big day.

"It's always a bit strange when you don't really go, when you ride at that sort of pace that's fairly hard but it's kind of just getting through. It's been quite hard actually, just waiting and waiting. Tomorrow I'll get to go all in. We'll see." (NBC/Eurosport)

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) - race leader

"I had a quiet day but it's still incredible to still have the yellow jersey and so will start last, in yellow, in the time trial. Whatever the outcome and final result, it'll be a special moment.

"I know the TT course, I've looked at it. It goes up and down quite for most of the 27km with an 8km final part where you have to go all out on the flat. It's a hard course and technical. I just hope to enjoy it while suffering more than usual. The jersey will give me extra motivation.

Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott)

"The plan was to win the stage, so it went pretty good. I missed the move of Clarke. It was my plan to get across in the downhill but he was really strong on the Peyresourde.

"I saw everybody was hesitating in the tailwind so I decided to give it a go. It turned into a 30-second advantage at the bottom and it turned out to be a good tactic." (Eurosport)

Patrick Lefevere (Deceuninck-QuickStep manager)

"I think today was like an aperitif, no? Tomorrow is the time trial, which is so important but the real goal will be the Tourmalet I think.

"I think the team is [defending the yellow jersey] very well, we're not a team of climbers but the guys, you see Elia Viviani and Max Richeze, leading the bunch and today they helped but on a sprint day they will do their own work. It's good though, we cannot complain.

"I talked to Alaphilippe the first day he took yellow and said 'we'll see how tomorrow goes', the day after tomorrow and the day after tomorrow keeps happening so I think the stress is off his shoulders and everything he does is ok. If we lose it, we lose it but knowing Julian, he will try to keep the yellow jersey for as long as possible." (Eurosport)


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