Giro d’Italia: Stage 15 reactions
Alexander Foliforov (Gazprom-Rusvelo), stage winner: “It’s a big victory for our team”
“I don’t know how I could win. It’s unbelievable. From the beginning of the Giro I hoped I could make a result in this stage – that I can do this, it’s like a dream for me. It’s a big victory for our team, our sponsors, and I’m very happy. I want to say thank you to the staff, riders, sponsors and general manager for this opportunity. It is a big race and it was my dream.
“I always race well in the cronoscalata and I thought I could be in the top 10. But I won and I don’t know how I could do this.
“Yesterday I tried to keep my strength. In the last kilometers I went slowly, thinking only about this race. I did my best but I didn’t expect to win. However, this is not going to be my last victory”.
Steven Kruijswijk (LottoNl-Jumbo), race leader: “I gave it all in this time trial”
“This morning I was hoping to still have the jersey after the time trial. I knew I was really good after yesterday. I think the guys suffered a lot more than I did. I gave it all in this time trial. It’s too bad I didn’t win but I think I showed that my condition is very good. I even gained time on my rivals, so it’s looking good.
“I saw that I started really fast. I think I had the fastest intermediate time. But I was a little bit too excited at the start I think, and I had to ease up a little bit. Then my coach didn’t give any time gaps anymore, he just said go full. I tried to keep my pace, and just in the last kilometer he said to try for the win as well. I tried to go full and I did, but I was a little too slow. It’s too bad I didn’t win the stage this weekend, but I’m very happy to still have this jersey.
Alexander Vinokourov, Astana manager: “It’s not over until Turin”
“I haven’t seen Vincenzo [Nibali] yet, but he had a very difficult day. He had a problem with the mechanical. It’s not great for the morale, and not a good day for him altogether. We lost a lot today, but I don’t think it’s won yet for Kruijswijk. We’ll keep working on our strategy and see what we can do. We have a good team, we’re strong, we showed today that we are all here for Vincenzo. The stage yesterday was hard and he had to fight hard, and he had to fight today. It’s not over until Turin, we’ll see what happens.”
“Of course it’s still a long week to go, but we will see. We have to take it day by day. I think I’ve showed I’m one of the better riders in this race, and I’m feeling confident. Hopefully like last year I can start to race as well in the last week and play with the guys. I’m confident my team is strong enough to help me with this.”
Esteban Chaves (Orica-GreenEDGE)
“The feeling is really good after these two stages in the mountains,” said Chaves. “Today was very hard but we are happy because we gave the maximum amount of effort that we could and we got a good result.”
“There is still a long way to go and we will continue to ride as we have been doing and stay positive going into the next stage.”
Ilnur Zakarin (Katusha): “I wanted to win some time from my rivals”
“I had a plan to do this time trial with 100%, from the start until the top. I felt good and tried to do well first part, but also to save some energy for the final. I think that I succeeded. I wanted to win some time from my rivals and finally I moved up in classification. Still a week is ahead with a number of very important stages. I will go day by day, giving by best in every stage”.
Rafal Majka (Tinkoff): “I just gave everything I could, but suffered”
“It was a tough stage today and I just gave everything I could, but suffered. It has been a few hard days and the rest day comes at a good time tomorrow. There are still a lot of opportunities ahead and it was good to climb another spot on GC today.”
Ian Boswell (Sky): “I beat all the sprinters for a while and then the GC guys came up”
“It was good for me to just see that I’m climbing well. I haven’t really done much in this race up until now so I think in the next week I want to try to have a go for a stage win.
“It was a good day out there. It was nice and sunny and a beautiful stage. It’s nice to be in the Dolomites in this good weather and just enjoy the scenery!”
“I beat all the sprinters for a while and then the GC guys came up. It was good. I do a lot of training where I go for Stravas on climbs and testing them. So I think it’s a good sign for the week to come. My form is there, it’s just a matter of putting it all together one day and getting in the right breakaways to fight for stage wins. We had three riders in the top 20 so I think it shows we have a pretty deep team here.”