Tour de France: Stage 12 finish line quotes

Fabio Aru (Astana) new maillot jaune

It’s the biggest thing that could happen to me. I never imagined it could happen. The stage was very, very hard and I’m very pleased to wear this jersey for my teammates. It won’t be easy to defend, we’ll do the best we can. There are nine stages to go. Romain went in the best moment possible, I tried to attack and then suffered a bit. I was using a 39x28. It’s was such a hard finish.

There was a bit of a tight turn at the bottom of the climb and a couple of us overshot the corner, we just had to go onto the grass and turn around and come back on.

Steve Cummings (Dimension Data) last man standing from the early break

I’m not frustrated, it’s just the race. Maybe they wanted the stage. I don’t know. I always try to make it as easy as possible and save my legs and if you’re doing GC it didn’t really seem like they had to do it but it’s up to them. They have bigger brains than me…

Simon Yates (Orica-Scott) 9th on the stage and still in the white jersey

It was an extremely hard day as everyone expected. I had a little bit of a cramp there in the finish after such a hard day and a long day in the saddle. But I gave everything so I'm happy.

[Asked what he saw when Froome rode into the grass]. We just came into that corner a little too quick. Everyone was fighting for position before the climb started. Just a small mistake, and nothing happened.

Aru has been looking good all Tour. It's no surprise to me that he's taken the jersey. Froome still was very good today. OK, he's lost the jersey, but there's still a long way in the Tour.

Daniel Martin (Quick-Step Floors) 6th on the stage and 5th overall

Without losing that 1:15 I would have been there [on the GC podium] but that makes it a lot harder. But we've just got to take it day by day and hopefully I keep recovering. My back is still really bad. It's taken a lot out of me psychologically as well, all the physio I've had to go through just to try to get ready. But obviously it's working.

The team is doing a great job. The boys believe in me 100 per cent. Even though I felt so bad at the start, they were encouraging me. Just such a team spirit today in Quick-Step Floors at the moment. They really believe in the chance that we have to get a podium. Like I said this morning, the Pyrenees is just about trying ride conservatively and try not to lose too much time. One day down, just have to get through the stage tomorrow and then I'll hopefully be able to be a bit more aggressive in the Alps.

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