Tour de France 2020 stage 17 - finish line quotes

Team Astana rider Colombias Miguel Angel Lopez L and Team UAE Emirates rider Slovenias Tadej Pogacar wearing the best youngs white jersey R ride during the 17th stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 170 km between Grenoble and Meribel on September 16 2020 Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARD AFP Photo by KENZO TRIBOUILLARDAFP via Getty Images
Astana Pro Team rider Miguel Angel Lopez attacked with 3.5km on stage 17 to take the win (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Miguel Angel Lopez (Astana Pro Team) – stage 17 winner and third on GC

"I’m really happy and very emotional. We worked really hard for this and it wasn’t easy to get there. I’m emotional.

"It’s amazing, this is for my wife and son. It’s hard being a long way away from them but this is my job. But I think of them all the time.

"We were confident because we knew the terrain suited us. It was over 2000 metres of altitude, like being at home [Colombia] and so it was an opportunity for me, so we fought for this stage." (ASO)

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) - second overall, third on stage 17

"I'm happy with my performance, it was a really tough day. Bahrain [McLaren] did a really fast tempo on the Madeleine, and on Col de la Loze the race just exploded in the final few kilometres. In that hard finale I'm happy to not lose more time. It's still reachable - tomorrow is another hard day. We'll see what we can do but I think we can be happy with how we rode so far. We will fight to the end. 

"It was just that steep sections then flat sections, that was really hard for me today. Also it was at altitude - one of the hardest final I've ever done. 

"[Riding for mountain classification points] I saw that on Madeleine there were 10 points for free so I went there and then I also got many points -  if I'm in the grasp to take it I will take it. I'm happy to have two jerseys now. The objective is still the general classification, If I can't take yellow, I can take this." (ASO)

Sepp Kuss (Jumbo-Visma) – fourth on stage 17

"We excepted maybe some team to ride today, either for the stage or to make it hard for others trying to get on the podium. Bahrain [McLaren] did a really strong pace. They rode super the first 10 to 15 kilometres of this last climb. They were going really fast, so hats off to them, but on this last climb here it was just a total leg-breaker.

"I was riding on the front and accelerated over the top on one of the [flatter] transitions. I looked back and nobody was behind me actually. All of a sudden Lopez came across and I tried to stay with him but he was going really strong. At that point when I knew I was over the limit, I backed off and tried to pace Primož a little bit, accelerated with him. Yeah, it was good." [EuroSport]

Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) - eighth on stage 17 and fifth on GC

"One of the first climbs we've really been at altitude so yeah, a tough day. I hung in there as long as I could, so I can be happy with that.

"Once we got into the last 7 kilometres we actually went pretty easy for the first bit. I think everyone was kind of saying they didn't know what to expect and then it was UAE [Team Emirates] started riding with a hard pace. From then on it was every man for themselves and I just hung on for as long as I could and yeah, I had a go, I guess.

"We got a big stage tomorrow, similar altitude [in] metres so it's going to be a really tough day. After that all we've got is the TT, so one big day in the mountains and one day all by myself, so we'll keep going. Hopefully tomorrow I'll have good legs and just keep trying." (Mitchelton-Scott)

Damiano Caruso (Bahrain McLaren) - 13th on stage 17

"It’s a terrible, terrible climb because the gradient keeps changing.  

"I saw a really strong team. We showed we’re a team. We went deep but we don’t have any regrets. If you don’t try, you never know. We gave our all and so we’ve no regrets. [Mikel] Landa didn’t collapse, he gave his all and so that's OK. 

"I felt good until the finale but these steep gradients are too much even for me." (ITV)

Pello Bilbao (Bahrain McLaren) - 22nd on stage 17

“We were clear that we came to the Tour to fight for the podium, that was the objective from the beginning. The road until now has not been easy – we’ve had so many difficulties from the beginning – but the intention has always been the same. We’ve been patient, we’ve been waiting for the right moment, and with the Jumbo [Visma] team, it was really difficult to try something in the other stages, so we waited until today’s stage [to work at the front and make a move for Mikel Landa]. 

"We knew we had an opportunity, with the last six kilometres so hard and also the altitude, and at that point the team was not important, so we tried to bring the race there as fast as we could. We used all the power of the team, we all did the maximum effort, and the result was not what we expected but we cannot ask for more from the team. We tried until the end, and tomorrow we will also try to make a surprise. It’s going to be difficult but we have one more opportunity.

"Mikel [Landa] was feeling good. He usually finishes well in the third week, so we wanted to try anyway from the beginning. We planned everything on the bus, and it went quite smoothly. The team was in good condition, each of us worked in the moment that was needed, and we tried to control and do a hard pace. Then we’ve seen the Tour is the Tour and we have so many strong rivals also." (ITV)

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