Tour de France: Stage 19 finish line quotes
No more photo finishes for Boasson Hagen
Chris Froome (Team Sky) - race leader
It was a good opportunity for us GC guys who have had a tough time in the Alps to regain a bit energy and sit on the wheels ahead of tomorrow's time trial.
It's definitely a fast course, there's a small climb out the back of Marseille. I think it suits me well, it's quite a power time trial. I certainly think someone like [Primoz] Roglic or Tony Martin could be fighting for the stage win tomorrow.
Certainly at this point it's my race to lose. I have to make sure I do everything right, follow the right processes and hopefully not have the bad day. I've got the legs, and hopefully everything else will be alright.
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) - stage winner
We rode together really well the whole day. Inside the last two kilometers or so, I made a final attack and nobody could follow. I'm really happy. I've been so close so many times and finally I've got one.
I could have won (from the sprint), but I was also feeling quite good and felt that I could manage to do one attack and try everything for that. I made a big gap and crossed the line alone, and I didn't have to have a photo finish so I'm very happy about that.
Jens Keukeleire (Orica-Scott) - third on stage and most combative rider.
I felt good, so I tried to make an attack. The first time I went very early, 60 kilometers from the finish. But I was terrified of the final climb because there were many good climbers in the breakaway.
We discussed (the roundabout where Boasson Hagen attacked) this morning. When we got to the roundabout, it hit me 'damn it's already here', but it was too late.
Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)
Everybody tried to attack, but Boassan Hagen was the hardest. I was doubting which side I should choose. In my ear they said that I should always stay left, except there. But I did not hear that.
(On the national holiday and several Belgians in the move) We did not talk to each other. Everyone knew which riders to keep an eye on. When Keukeleire attacked, was Chavanel on the wheel I had to rush to get there. But I had nothing left.
Daniele Bennati (Movistar) - fourth on the stage
The first victory of the day was simply getting into the early break, because it was difficult in itself, and then beating the rest of the field was the other one. There were so many talented riders, and in such a finish, it's sort of a lottery to snatch the right move and win. I tried to escape after the penultimate roundabout, but wasn't able to open a gap, and then at the final one I took the left side, whereas the right-hand one was the shortest. Boasson Hagen had a 20, 30-meter advantage at the exit and it was impossible for me to bridge back.
I'm annoyed, and it's normal. I wanted so hard to dedicate a victory to the whole team, after all bad luck we've gone through in this Tour; also to Alejandro Valverde, whom I wish all the best with his recovery; and my son Francesco, who celebrated his birthday on Thursday. After Alejandro's crash we tried to carry on and seek for the GC win with Nairo, yet he couldn't recover well for the Tour after the efforts in the Giro.
Refocusing our goals afterwards and go for stage wins when you see your top contender hasn't got everything he'd like to is always hard. We tried, though; I did jump with 2km left last Tuesday after we made the front group into the crosswinds, but was caught. We didn't have what was needed, but did everything we could.
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