Nans Peters (AG2R La Mondiale) - winner of stage 8
“This is crazy. It was already something unbelievable to win a stage on my first participation to the Giro d’Italia last year and now it’s the same at the Tour de France. I told myself why not trying at the Tour too.
"It was a dream and I made it! I knew [Ilnur] Zakarin was stronger than me up the climbs but I never gave up. I convinced myself to not crack. I had seen in the downhill of Port de Balès that he descended like a goat so I was confident to beat him in the finale of the stage. I had no ear piece, so the only info I had [was] by looking back. Only 2 kilometres to go I thought that I was going to win.” (ASO)
Toms Skujins (Trek-Segafredo) - second on the stage
“[I was] fortunate enough, first of all, to get in the break was a strong move, and also we got lucky that the peloton was happy to let us go. Obviously they could have kept us at five minutes and you would have not survived. Yeah, we got a lot of time so you could actually dream of winning a stage at the Tour de France.
“The first [climb] we did an easy, well not ‘easy,’ but solid tempo. And then the second climb was the hardest climb, so everyone went for it. There was not long to go after that, and just a downhill, so that’s where it kind of exploded. Unfortunately, I was not strong enough to follow the first guys, but I was hoping to come back on the downhill. I didn’t succeed, so we still kept on fighting on the last climb [Peyresourde]. We were fairly close, but actually, well, not that close because 50 seconds is a lot.
“Now I change the jersey and change the legs and tomorrow we can go again.” (Trek-Segafredo)
Ilnur Zakarin (CCC Team) - fourth on the stage
"We spoke about a breakaway before the race in the meeting and the sport directeur said to go, and I went. [Peters] really was good, and for me today the downhill was a very big problem. I know it's my problem. [Peters] was really strong and had good motivation for today." (CCC Team)
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) - ninth on stage and second in Best Young Rider classification
"I saw that the other guys were looking at each other and everyone was on the limit, I had the chance to attack and I went full gas for the last 5 kilometers to the top.
"In the downhill I tried to go as deep as I could and at the end I had 40-second of advantage, so it was a good day for me. Tomorrow will be another hard day, we will see day by day how we face each stage.” (UAE Team Emirates)
Adam Yates (Mitchelton-Scott) - 12th on stage and race leader
“Dumoulin he set a ferocious pace [on last climb] you know, and I just couldn’t hold the wheel. I actually rode my own pace for a little bit, sort of collect myself. Over the top I stayed with the guys, so in all a good day.
“Tomorrow is a very similar stage. If we can hold on for another day, the day after that is a rest day, so hopefully we can hold on [yellow jersey] until then.
“It’s been good. We’ve kept things under control and I’ve sort of done my thing and tried to stay out of trouble. So like I said, hopefully we can get through tomorrow and then we’ll take it from there.” (NBCSN)
Søren Kragh Andersen (Team Sunweb) - eighth on the stage
"I was really happy to be in the break. I wanted it already a few times before today, and I was happy to be there today to push myself to the limit. I'm a little disappointed but that's how it is.
"I was in the break to try to win, but I was not good enough. It was for sure not a waste of time, it was good training and I learn a lot from losing. We'll try another time." (Team Sunweb)
Benoit Cosnefroy (AG2R la Mondiale) - leader of mountain classification
“My idea was to get two points at the top of the first climb at kilometre nine. I got them but in a more difficult manner than I expected.
"I’ve had to fight hard in front of Bora-Hansgrohe. We’ve raced hard all day. I couldn’t do anything once I got caught in the green jersey group. I’m disappointed with my performance because I could have helped Romain [Bardet] and I wasn’t up there. There’s a big day ahead of us tomorrow. I have to recover from today’s stage first.” (ASO)
Egan Bernal (Ineos Grenadiers) - 13th on the stage and 5th on GC
“It’s been a very fast day. We thought there would be some tension but we didn’t foresee this much. It hasn’t stopped all day.
"In the finale, we’ve seen the opportunity and we took advantage of it to split the bunch. I think it’s something good: the Tour de France is also won in stages like this one, you have to use all terrains. My team did a perfect job.
"We’ve just had two hard stages. Tomorrow, it’ll be a GC day for sure. We’ll have to be very focused, try and not lose any time, take the opportunity if there’s any, and if not, stay quiet.” (ASO)
Sports Directeur Enrico Poitschke (Bora-Hansgrohe), on GC rider Emanuel Buchmann
"It was an expected hard stage, especially the last two climbs. That combination is very hard. The pace from Jumbo-Visma was very high. On the first HC climb we had Emu [Buchmann] there, but on the last climb he lost contact. He was completely empty and he lost time today, but not so much [lost 1:03 to Yates]. From that side, hopefully the next days it will go better and better, and he will be 100 per cent back." (Bora-Hansgrohe)
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