Tour de France: Stage 9 reactions

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin), stage winner

“It was an incredible day. The whole day, queen stage, it was really hard, and I did it.

“It’s very very special. I’m a time trial specialist but today I showed I can do more, and I showed it last year at the Vuelta. I’m so so happy, it’s incredible.”

Oleg Tinkov (Tinkoff team owner)

“It was not a surprise to me, because I am in the team and we knew that Alberto was not doing well. When he attacked we were surprised and then he started coming back. But what can I say, it is disappointing of course, but the race goes on and we are going to fight for the mountain jersey and the green jersey and to try to win some stages.

“Rafal [Majka] is a fighter. He is not feeling well because he’s been in two consecutive breakaways, but he was good today. I hope he will have his mountain jersey now.

“Our team didn’t have a good last five days. Our captain was struggling and we had to be around him. It was not an easy time, even though Peter was in yellow we had to sort of manage two goals: to look after Alberto and still manage to keep the yellow jersey. Now, to me, it’s kind of a relief, because Alberto is going home to prepare for the Vuelta.”

Alejandro Valverde (Movistar)

“It was a really demanding stage. The team behaved well overall; we tried to go after that move with Contador, knowing that we had team-mates at the front, but once Alberto wasn’t able to keep up the pace I couldn’t be there either, because if I did, the break just wouldn’t go forward. All in all, Nairo did his job well, keeping Froome’s wheel; my job, in turn, got way harder with the final pace, the rain and the efforts from the day, and I could just go on my own, staying with Kreuziger’s group and pushing with all I had until the finish. Froome unbeatable at the moment? So I feel Nairo is, too. There’s still a long way to go in this Tour – you must attack when it’s your real time. You never know when it comes. Contador’s abandon? It was sad; he had already told me he was suffering from fever this morning. All my best wishes to him!”

Adam Yates (Orica-BikeExchange)

“It was a difficult start to the stage with the attacks of Alberto Contador (Tinkoff) on the first climb,” said Yates. “Then on the last climb it started to rain and cooled down quite a bit.”

“For me when it cools down like that I feel a lot more open and it enabled me to go a little bit deeper, so it was good timing really. We all have the rest day tomorrow and some time to recover so we will see how everyone comes out of that and continue to take the race day by day.”

Daniel Martin (Etixx – Quick-Step)

“I don’t consider myself a contender, Chris and Nairo are the big favourites for the win, but I wanted to see what I can do, so I attacked a few times. In the final kilometer it was a headwind, and because of that it became difficult to try something there”, said Dan, who moved to Andorra last year and began using the Andorre Arcalis climb as one of his regular training grounds. “Overall, I can’t say the weather had an impact, but I’m sure it looked cooler on TV. I’m third overall now, but I still want to take it day by day and try to get a stage win. I like riding again in the high mountains, Etixx – Quick-Step reminded me how to enjoy what I am doing and I can’t say enough times how great this team is. I’m an aggressive rider, that’s my nature, and I like to attack and fight for the win even if this means getting dropped, instead of sitting behind and fighting for second.”

Bauke Mollema (Trek-Segafredo)

“I felt good on the last climb, and I tried to attack a few times, but Froome chased me.  After I had attacked I needed to recover a little bit, then Richie Porte went, and I just couldn’t follow the first GC guys,” explained Mollema.

“In the last kilometer we had a small gap from them, I was with Bardet and Rodriquez. I think in the end it was a good day, and it has been a good first week for me. Tomorrow’s the rest day; time to recover. Still two weeks to go. So far I am happy about the form, and hopefully I can keep this in the next two weeks.”

“It was a hard race,” concluded Mollema. “First it was really warm, and then on the last climb it was raining, and hail. It was a special day, really hard. I had a lot of support from the boys again today, and in the final climb they brought me to the front in good position.”

Joaquim Rodriguez (Katusha)

“I’m feeling not so bad. The rivals tried a few times in the end, so I lost a bit of time, but fortunately I am not feeling too tired after the race. This is a good sign. The long breakaway was good for us; otherwise the stage would have been even crazier. It was already crazy enough at the start. There were many attacks on the Port de la Bonaigua and Team Sky had to keep the pace so high. Later Alberto Contador abandoned and then came that crazy climb of the Col de Beixalis. The race still has two weeks to go. There are hard stages to come!”

Geraint Thomas (Sky)

“It was actually quite nice, it was like being back in Wales. It was hard with the heat so the rain was quite nice.

“It was hard to control with Valverde going away but we stuck together well as a unit, and all came down to last climb, and in the end it wasn’t hard enough for big gaps. It’s only stage 9 and a lot can happen in Grand Tours. We’re in a good position. Everyone within a couple of minutes is a threat.”

Adam Yates alejandro valverde bauke mollema daniel martin joaquim rodriguez Oleg Tinkov reactions stage 9 Tom dumoulin Tour de France

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