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Tour de France 2020 stage 7 - finish line quotes

Stage winner Team Jumbo rider Belgiums Wout van Aert 2ndL sprints to crosses the finish line at the end of the 7th stage of the 107th edition of the Tour de France cycling race 168 km between Millau and Lavaur on September 4 2020 Photo by BENOIT TESSIER POOL AFP Photo by BENOIT TESSIERPOOLAFP via Getty Images
(Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) - winner of Tour de France stage 7

"I'm really proud of this win. Straight from the gun it was all out and I have to say that it was an impressive stage from Bora-Hansgrohe because they went flat out on the first KOM and made sure a lot of sprinters were dropped already. After that, it was always hectic and everyone feared the crosswinds. 

"In the final, we saw that it was worth it to put a lot of energy into positioning, and I was with Primoz [Roglic] the whole stage in the front, so it was a good day for the team. A few favourites from the GC lost a lot of time. It was a good finish and incredible to win.

"I focussed on Primoz but I didn't expect it to be such a mess in the end. It was quite a small group and so it would have been shame to not give it a try from a smaller bunch sprint. I think the guys launched a sprint early and I was able to have some slipstream and find a gap on the right side, and I timed my sprint perfectly."

"I didn't expect [to win] this morning, so I have to say that this one is more of a surprise. It was a surprise for everyone on the team that it was such a hard stage today. It's a great one to finish this off." (Eurosport)

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) - back in green jersey

"We did a similar stage in 2013, which I won. We pulled the race all day, to get rid of sprinters, and that day I went and won. This time, it was similar but without the win. I’m very happy with my teammates because they did a really extraordinary job. We decided together to do it. The director at first didn’t really agree but the race went very well, and even the directors were happy in the end. 

"I was unlucky in the sprint because my chain got blocked. It was a mechanical problem, yes, but that wasn’t the whole story. I was behind Van Aert, but then I got out of position, and everybody went left, I tried not to fall but I collided with someone, I don’t know who, and my chain came off. I’m lucky to not have crashed. After that, it was impossible to get to the front."

"I'm disappointed because we controlled the race all day. Everything seemed like it was very good and in the end I had bad luck in the final - I had the chain drop off and I missed a lot of points. That's cycling." (Eurosport)

Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) - race leader

"In the end it was a really tough day. It was on from kilometre zero to the finish, and we never really had a rest. Bora wanted to take it up all day. It would have been nice to have a rest ahead of the Pyrenees but it wasn't possible, unfortunately.

"It's going to be a hard stage, both stages. I actually know a lot of the climbs already from previous races and recons. We'll try and stay in the lead for as long as possible."

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates) - lost 1:21 and white jersey

"We knew in the final section that it would be hard so we were trying to move to the front but someone crashed in front of us and I ended up behind the group when it split.

"I tried to close the gap but the speed was really up. The team gave everything to try and bring me back and did their best to minimise the loss. It's just a minute or so, It's not ideal but I'm not worried. We will try another day."

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep)

“It was not a great day for us because we lost most of the team in the split. I was really well positioned for the sprint but I unclipped and so couldn’t do the sprint properly. It was full gas right from the start, from kilometre zero, we didn’t have time to think.” (Eurosport)