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Tour de France: Stage 16 finish line quotes

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Michael Matthews after a close win on stage 16 of the Tour de France

Michael Matthews after a close win on stage 16 of the Tour de France
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Chris Froome in the peloton during stage 16 at the Tour de France

Chris Froome in the peloton during stage 16 at the Tour de France
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The sprinters bear down on the line during stage 16 at the Tour de France

The sprinters bear down on the line during stage 16 at the Tour de France
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Michael Matthews nips Edvald Boasson Hagen to win stage 16 of the Tour de France

Michael Matthews nips Edvald Boasson Hagen to win stage 16 of the Tour de France
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A helicoper captures the action during stage 16 at the Tour de France

A helicoper captures the action during stage 16 at the Tour de France

Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) - stage winner

To get another one in the same Tour de France ... normally, when I'm in tours I can win one stage, but the second one is always hardest to get. To get my second in three days, I don't really know. I think it won't really sink in until tomorrow.

I was trying to go into the breakaway but Quick-Step were covering me because they didn't want me to get the points. Then, I heard that Kittel was getting dropped so I really started to put the pressure on. When I heard he had been dropped by one minute over the top of the climb, we decided to start pulling, because if he's out of the race then it makes it easier for me to take the sprint.

I took the intermediate and we got the final also. We got 50 points today in the intermediate and the sprint.

Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) - second on stage

It was a hard stage but the team did really well to keep me up front all day. I was a bit too far back in the last corner, I knew that I needed to be up at the front, but sometimes it happens that you're a little too far back. Today, I almost had it but I didn't quite make it.

John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) - third on stage

I was on his wheel and I was in the perfect position to launch the sprint at 200 metres, and I started the sprint. Clearly I came with more speed than him from his wheel, and he saw me on the right side and closed the gap on the right side. That made me stop the sprint to sprint for the victory.

[What was the back and forth with Matthews?] You know, it's just in the heat of the situation. You are obviously very angry if you cannot go for the victory. If you know you have the legs to overtake him, that's very disappointing.

For me it's very clear. You see he is going off his line into my line. You can see it on television.

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) - fourth on stage

It was expected that it would be like this. It was a really hard stage all day long. I'm happy with how we rode, I think you saw, everybody was there, always in the front. We never were surprised, and I think that's how you have to be in these kinds of races. I'm really proud of the team. Okay, we didn't win, but I think the most important thing is that you do everything right. And then the result is also pretty nice.

I think it was a pretty active final. I didn't know the corners very well. You always see in the book but I was a little bit surprised that it was that hard a corner. So I had to brake a little bit harder than expected. And then when you come out of the corner you just have to start sprinting. I think with the headwind like this it was really hard. So it was a bit bad for me. I tried but I ended up fourth in the end.

[Matthews] is really running strong. Also at the beginning of the stage he was always trying [to get into the breakaway] so he's really, really good and I think he deserved the win. He's pretty strong for these kind of races.

Dan Martin (Quick-Step Floors) - lost time to GC rivals

We haven't been bad before but it's a bit different doing a crosswinds stage in the last week rather than the first week. That was a strange one with the climb. The climb put everybody in the red and then we had the downhill. The downhill was so dangerous. That was part of me losing position because there were a couple of near crashes with guys swept by the wind and coming left into the group and that lost me 10 or 15 positions.

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) - 42nd on the stage

It was a small hill just before and I know that on the hills I struggle to keep position, and then just over the hill Sky put the hammer down and then I was too far back because it split in front of me. I moved up a lot, but I wasn't able to get into the front group. It was a pity, because I felt quite strong.

There wasn't so much I could do about it because when they go so hard on the climb I know that I'm on the limit.