Tour de France 2019 stage 16 finish line quotes

Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal) - Stage 16 winner

"To be honest, I felt so bad today during the day. I think the heat really got to me. I was suffering so much I was almost about to tell Max to get off the front because I was really suffering. I have extra motivation today because my wife and daughter are here. I'm so happy I could win for them.

"I thought we were too far forward. I had Jasper on the front with Dylan on the wheel with one kilometre to go. We weren't in an ideal situation with 1km to go. He did such a strong pull. QuickStep came past, and I lost a few more positions than I wanted to. I looked at this finish at the start of the day and played all the scenarios in my head. One of the scenarios was if I was too far back. I think if you watch, I lay off the wheel and really take a run at it and start sprinting before the rest of the guys. It worked.

"I said before it's a dream to be here, and it was such a big dream to win one stage. Now I've won two, I can't believe it." (ASO Pool)

Nicolas Portal - Team Ineos director on Geraint Thomas' crash

"Yeah, I think he [Thomas] is OK. It was a bad surprise but it's all good. He saw the doc quickly so I think it's just minor issues. It's all good. we're lucky.

"We didn't actually talk about it, but the only thing I could see was that it was on his left side. We asked him if he wanted to swap his bike [back], but he said it was all good.

"To be honest, it was very, very hot. After 90k, both cars were empty of bidons. The temperature was up to 40-41 degrees at times. After 40k we had given at least four sets of bidons. The commissaires opened feeding from the car after 10k, which was the right decision. It was important." (Eurosport) 

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)

"Maxime Monfort did a great job today. He kept the break really close, but in the end it was a big fight to take them back. In the end, Caleb [Ewan] won, so we can drink champagne again.

"The last three years we didn't win any stage, and you could see the sponsors weren't happy, but now they are talking about a party in Paris, so they all agree it has been a wonderful Tour for us. [Stage 17 on Wednesday] is probably the last chance for a breakaway.

"Ewan doesn't really need a lead-out. He is someone who can follow any wheel and jump on any wheel, and he can still win. We just need to put him in good position in the final two kilometres, and he can finish it off by himself. If you give him a lead-out, he usually gets second or third, but if he can jump on the wheel, he wins, so he's an easy sprinter for us." (Eurosport)

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) - Overall race leader

"Of course, today was really warm day on the bike. But it's [the same] for everybody, and you have to deal with it. For me, I put ice on my neck all day, and I tried to drink a lot and not forget to eat.

"In the final kilometres I was scared to crash. There was a lot of crashes and I never want to crash, but especially when you are the leader of the race. I tried to take care in all the corners. In the end, we didn't win with Elia, but it was a good day.

"Gap is already not so easy stage, but we will see day after day."

Roger Kluge (Lotto Soudal) - Caleb Ewan's lead-out man

"We're delighted, a win is always the best way to start after a rest day, now we hope to look to win in Paris, too. The sprint was s bit sketchy with the roundabouts and some narrow parts. We were up there in front, maybe too early for the sprint, but at least we had safe way and the best line, saving some energy I guess. I saw Caleb got [Dylan] Groenewegen's wheel but then came off it. All the sprinters are on the same level, so it's all about positioning.

"Caleb is one of the fastest and one of the smallest, and I think with the headwind finish, like he showed in the Giro, if he comes off the wheel, he's the most aero and takes advantage of that." (Eurosport)

Michael Mørkøv (Deceuninck-QuickStep) – Elia Viviani's lead-out man

"The whole team worked great today, even if we've put a lot of effort into this race already. We were good at the last roundabout but I haven't seen the sprint, so I'm not sure what happened after that.

"All the best sprinters in the world are fighting here, so to win here is something very special. I'm already happy we took one. Now we have one other chance left in Paris." (Eurosport).




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