Tour de France: Stage 7 finish line quotes
Kittel, Boasson Hagen on the close finish, Cimolai on Démare's problems, Froome ready for the weekend
Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) - stage winner
I had no clue whether I won or not on the finish line. I just thought, 'This is going to be close.'
I tried to make myself three metres longer. At 100 metres, when I was on Boasson Hagen's wheel and we came around the corner, I thought it was still 200 metres to go from there, but it was only 120 or something. Then I knew I just had the door was open on the right side and that I could pass him. It was just enough.
It's an incredible success. I'm really proud of it. I'm in great shape. I'm super happy that the team supported me so well today. I think we did a good lead-out. We believed in this chance, in this victory. It's just crazy.
Being back here now in the Tour, after 2014 and 2013, celebrating now already three stage wins is incredible. I'm so happy about it and I enjoy every minute of it.
Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) - second in the photo finish
The team did so well today. They took me all the way to the line with a perfect lead-out. It's a pity I couldn't finish it off. However, I'm happy with this second place even though I would have liked to take the win. I'm not a pure sprinter, so to be able to be up there on these flat stages gives me a lot of confidence for the remaining part of the Tour.
Fabio Sabatini (Quick-Step Floors) - Kittel's lead out man
Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors)
It's a great day for us and this shows off the strength of the whole team. Vermote rode on the front all stage for the seventh consecutive day. We had Gilbert and Brambilla to close the break down and then it went well in he finale.
I felt good, then not good, then good again. In the end I felt better. But we made our move a little bit too early and we faded in the last kilometre. Afterwards I managed to be back in the wheels but I felt it was going to be complicated.
This first week was hard with the media pressure, you waste a lot of time with that. I'm learning. Today was a sprint for Kittel. With a long straight line like this, he is hard to beat. Still he won by the blink of an eye over Boasson-Hagen, which shows he's human.
Davide Cimolai (FDJ) - one of Démare's key lead out man
Unfortunately Arnaud didn't feel well when he woke up today and so we knew it was going to be a difficult day. We tried to score as many points as possible and do as well as possible.
Today I was full gas, I couldn't do any better. I found myself in Kittel's wheel but I was full gas physically, I couldn't do any better.
I have a slight problem with my nose and my throat, nothing too serious. It was still a hard day with the heat. As for my sprint, it wasn't a stage that suited me too much but I gave it my all, I had my legs around my neck.
Chris Froome (Team Sky) - race leader
There was lots of talk about the wind today but nothing really happened for the GC riders, we're all thinking about the weekend.
Each kilometre you think about the things that could change the course, and you had to stay in front. But everybody knows that Saturday and Sunday are the days for the overall classification. Even so, these flat stages are not easy, but that's our job.
I've reconned [Saturday's stage] and seen the finish of the stage into Rousses. It's difficult to predict what's going to happen on a stage like that – it's a long way to the finish from the top of the climb. It stays up on the plateau. There could be a lot of different scenarios that could unfold there.
Tomorrow is a bit of an unknown to be honest. It's kind of a finish that we don't normally do in the Tour de France, a 12km climb and then a bit of a plateau to the finish so I'm not sure what's going to happen there so it should be interesting.
This weekend is the first real big shake up. We have climb after climb on Sunday and I think it's going to be a hard weekend for everyone. You just have to see how it will be raced. There is a fair distance to the finish after the climb on Sunday so it could be a negative race.
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By Josh Croxton