Matteo Trentin (Quick-Step Floors) - stage winner
I really wanted it. It was for a while that I was thinking about this stage because the climb was hard, but it was a steady grind. It was something that I can handle pretty good. I knew the downhill was really technical. For me it was good having Rojas in the front group because he was really, really good going down. I could just follow him. To be honest, when he was really pushing - I'm a good downhiller I think - but I was a bit in trouble to follow him. We could distance all the other guys on the downhill, then it was good in the sprint.
Actually, I pulled the whole climb doing my tempo and when he passed me I was sure that he wanted to go full gas down. It was something I would do also if I knew the climb.
Nicolas Roche (BMC Racing) - third overall, gained time in an attack on the technical descent
It was a good day. It wasn't really the plan to go on the descent until I saw Vincenzo [Nibali] opening a gap, and I tried to get around the other GC riders, then came onto Vincenzo, then opened up a bit of gap, and I said 'let's go, see what happens'.
Jose Joquin Rojas (Movistar) - runner-up
It's a pity. Trentin was the worst enemy I could have found myself up against. He's the best sprinter here at the Vuelta - what can I do?
Chris Froome (Team Sky) - race leader
[On Nicolas Roche's time-gaining attack] He did push on a little bit on the downhill. I wasn't prepared to take any risks today. I knew there was a lot of road from the bottom of the climb to the finish line, so I just took it easy with my teammates and kept everything together.
It's not necessarily a big worry for me. I was happy to stay with my teammates. But I think that Nico did a great ride, he seems to be in fantastic shape in the Vuelta. Congratulations to him. He's sitting tied on second place at the moment with Chaves. He's done a good ride.
Adam Yates (Orica-Scott)
It was pretty tricky, and because it rained so much at the beginning the roads were still quite wet. Obviously when it's wet it's pretty slippery out there and quite dangerous, especially when guys want to push the pace and try to create some gaps. Overall we were in a good position. Esteban was second or third wheel and I was sixth wheel going over the top of the climb. In general we had a very good day.
[On Roche's attack] He's taken some big risks. If he was to crash then he wouldn't have been on the same time; he'd have been a couple minutes down. But he did a good ride. He's obviously a great rider and knows how to handle a bike.
We have a lot of stages coming up and I'm sure we can try something in the coming days. Tomorrow is going to be a tough one as well as the rest of the week. But as always we will take it day by day.
Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana) - seventh on stage
First we had to get into the break. Once we left the start, that was the first thing, and just getting into the move was really hard. The whole team had to be alert and working. We don't really have a clear leader for that kind of thing like we do for the GC with Aru. Today it fell to me to try to get in the break. I know the parcours since I'm close to home.
We managed to get into the move, but I didn't have the best legs.
It was clear [today] the break was going to make it. The main thing was that you had to be not bad at climbing and also be fast, and Quick-Step have that down with Philippe [Gilbert] and Trentin, and Movistar with Rojas and the rest of their riders. Today it came down to me to try almost everything because we weren't sure which rider would be the best.
Today I didn't have the success I wanted, I didn't have the legs, but there's still time left in this Vuelta.
Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription
Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1
Thank you for signing up to Cycling News. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.