Tour de France: Stage 11 finish line quotes

Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) - stage winner

It's incredible because ... you know sometimes when you're on your top level in the sprints, it's like playing Tetris. The last games I've always got the right gaps, I never made a mistake, all the lines were perfect. I could today again jump from wheel to wheel. It's incredible. I'm so happy.

It's really nice to give the team again a victory because Julien worked today, Philippe Gilbert worked today, Jack Bauer worked today. They are all champions. They're killing it for me. I'm just speechless.

It's hard to work [on timing]. It all comes together. I've got the legs and I've got the mind for it. It's perfect. I'm happy I've used the chances I've had so far, and it can't get worse from here.

Maciej Bodnar (Bora-Hansgrohe) - last man caught from breakaway at 300 metres to go

Sorry, I have to ... [chews] I still have some Haribo from Sagan still in my mouth.

It was so close, I'm a little bit disappointed, but what can I say. I'm so happy for a stage in the Tour. Like last year, it was so close – but then last year it was too fast, I wasn't thinking too much. Today, I did a nice time trial, even better than the time trial [stage] before. I can be happy, maybe we can try in other stages, why not?

I was all day I kept it calm. I knew in the last 20km I had to go, and that's it.

When I saw it was 40 seconds, I felt I had really good legs, I said I have to go, I can't wait for them all day. But I have to say thank you to the guys, because we did a lot for 170-something [kilometres] together. We worked very well.

I know the last 10km it would slow down a little bit. The wind was a problem. It was so close, like 500 metres. What can I do? We'll try again later.

When I saw one time with 3km to go, the bunch was still 200 metres [behind], and I was thinking I could still do it, but the last 400 metres was really, really hard for me, and the bunch was going really fast. That was that. I think 10 seconds more then we could celebrate something nice.

Chris Froome (Team Sky) - race leader

It was a bit more nervous today than yesterday. There was more of a threat of crosswinds but never really enough to shake it up. It was one of those days where you had to be concentrated all day and stay near the front. My teammates are great at keeping me in a good position so thanks to them.

We’ve got two uphill finishes left and tomorrow is one of them. It’s definitely going to help shape the GC even further, I think. On our behalf, I don’t think we want to let anyone come back onto GC. We’re really going to want to control things from the start and not allow any of the GC guys who’ve lost time already to come back into the game.

I don’t need to [attack] at this point, but let’s see out on the road.

Alberto Contador (Trek-Segafredo)

In the end it was a quiet day and in that sense could not come at a better time. In the final part we went behind, trying not to take any risks, that's why I'm very happy, although my body hurts after two crashes. We'll see if tomorrow, with a bit of luck, is a day like today and I'm still recovering.

(Yesterday you said that the important thing was to recover feelings)

The good thing is that I have been able to do the stage without too many problems. I feel pained, but it is logical. We'll see what happens tomorrow, which in theory should go better, to think about next stages.

(Will we have to wait until the Alps to see you attack?)

I wish not, but the crashes are very recent, I'm still getting bruises. The Pyrenees come a little too soon.

(What part of the body bothers you the most?) The left knee, in the lower part; the chest, but a little everywhere. It's normal, we do not have a suit like motorcyclists, it's our own skin that protects us. But even in this bad case, when there is rain the bruises are smaller.

Jack Bauer (Quick-Step Floors)

It's been great working with Marcel all year. He's a very easy-going, relaxed and focused bike rider. He's very easy to work with.

He's just finding a way to win each sprint as it comes. I wouldn't say he's been doing it without a lead-out, Fabio Sabatini is doing a great job in the final kilometre. Marcel has been coming from a long way back but with a lot of speed.

Zdenek Stybar (Quick-Step Floors)

We knew this was going to be very close, we used Philippe Gilbert and Jack Bauer much earlier than we thought. I also started to pull much earlier than what was the plan. But we knew we had to do it otherwise we just wouldn't make it. And that would be bitter, because Marcel is super strong.

I just said it a minute ago, we think of every stage like we are going for the first stage win in the Tour. We are very motivated, we're a good group of guys, and we are enjoying every moment.

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