Tour de France: Stage 15 finish line quotes
'I just gave it a try,' says Mollema
Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo) - stage winner
I've been close a few times but this year I really wanted to go for a stage. That was a big goal for me and yesterday I knew this was a chance. In the beginning of the stage, it was close because there was a strong breakaway with 10 guys and a lot of teams wanted to block the road so we couldn't pass and then the break took like one and a half minutes.
My teammates finally got to the front, [Michael] Gogl, Koen de Kort, and we kept the speed up in the peloton and on the first time I just went full gas. I was puling the whole climb already and trying to bridge to the first guys and finally we made it with 25 guys and then I was there in the breakaway. That was the first goal. And finally, I felt so good, I just gave it a try in the last 30 kilometres. I think I never did so long riding alone and in the end it was close.
[Biggest win of your career?] Yeah, sure. The Tour de France has always been the most important race for me, it's always been my dream performing here and I've finally won a stage. So I'm incredibly happy.
Chris Froome (Team Sky) - race leader
[Asked about late mechanical] It was a stressful moment. I wasn't sure if I'd get back on again.
AG2R rode their race and rode fast. Just before the climb I had a problem with my back wheel, it was damaged. Kwiatkowski gave me his wheel because the team car was stuck behind. I gave it my maximum to get back up to the leaders.
I've got to thank my teammates yet again for helping me. Sergio Henao and Mikel Nieve gave their maximum. [Mikel] Landa too. He helped me a lot on the climb.
It's up to my rivals to attack me. They have to gain time before time trial. For now I'm just happy to have the jersey and to have a rest day tomorrow.
Mikel Landa (Team Sky) - sixth overall
[Helping Froome back from mechanical] I just stayed in the first group, and when he was closer, I waited a little bit and we came back together.
[On their conversation after rejoining] We spoke a little bit about how to control the other contenders, because we were together, and had to save the day.
[On the crisis moment] I was in the first group, so I always let them know how things were going. We stayed calm and saved the day very well.
Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) - moved up to fifth overall
I was six seconds off seventh [place] last year and finished ninth. So every second counts at the Tour. 14 seconds, I mean ... Everyone was on the limit today. Rest day's tomorrow, so I can recover.
It's been a really brutal week. Really hot day as well. There's a lot of suffering going on in there. That's why you're seeing guys cracking. It's been a really brutal crash.
[You would be in yellow if not for that stage 9 crash] It's all 'What if', you know? I might have been in yellow and then lost five minutes because everyone attacks the hell out of me. The situation is the situation, and we're always going to wonder 'What if?' but this is the hand we've been dealt. Maybe all these seconds I've been picking up, they would never have let me go.
Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*
Join now for unlimited access
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets
After your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59
Join now for unlimited access
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Get The Leadout Newsletter
The latest race content, interviews, features, reviews and expert buying guides, direct to your inbox!