Tour de France: “It’s just nice to come through that one unscathed”17. July 2016, Culoz (FRA) — Road Team
Stage 15 of the Tour de France was tipped as one of the hardest of the race and it didn’t disappoint with the six categorized climbs testing the legs on a hot and fast day of racing.
A double ascent of Grand Colombier capped off the 159km stage which saw Richie Porte battle it out in the Yellow Jersey group and cross the line with his main General Classification rivals.
Tejay van Garderen was in the mix of the group until he was distanced on the final ascent before the run into the finish in Culoz.
Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling) went head to head with Rafal Majka (Tinkoff) in a sprint to the line, taking the win ahead of Majka and Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2T La Mondiale).
Porte now sits in seventh on the General Classification and van Garderen in eighth, 4’27” and 4’47” behind Chris Froome (Team SKY) respectively.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“To be honest I think everyone is just on their limits and couldn’t do much. It was a hard day and it’s just good to get it done. If you could have attacked there you would have. The pace was on pretty much all day and that descent was quite sketchy too. I think for me it’s just nice to come through that one unscathed. We’ll get through tomorrow and then into the rest day and then it’s every man for himself really in that last week. When it looked Quintana was going to attack he [Froome] threw a little dummy attack in and that just quietened everybody down. We’ll just see what happens in the next few days.”
“It wasn’t so bad the last time up it [Grand Colombier] but that second to last time, everybody was on their limit. Especially when Diego Rosa did his turn I think that put quite a lot of guys’ days to an end. I’m happy to come through that like I did. At the best of time that’s a sketchy descent but when the road is melting and there’s loose gravel and surface it’s not so nice. It’s just one of those elements of a race.”
Tejay van Garderen:
“I wasn’t really thinking anything [when Romain Bardet attacked]. I was in my own world just trying to hold the wheel in front of me but I couldn’t hold it. To be honest I felt fine, just the pace was pretty incredible. I can’t say that it was bad sensations it was just above the level that I had on the day. Anything can happen. Once you get into the third week of a Grand Tour it’s like Russian Roulette, it could be anyone’s day.”
“I think it was one of the toughest days with all of the up and down. There was not one meter flat pretty much. The start was of course the crucial factor and 30 guys went away and we knew that they would have a big chance for the stage win. Unfortunately there was nobody in for us, so then we switched our goal and focused on GC with Richie and Tejay. Tejay lost some time, Richie was up there but I think there is still a very tough last week coming and there are chances to crawl slowly up the standing and come onto the podium in Paris.”
Tour de France
Stage 15 Bourg-en-Bresse › Culoz (159km)
Top 3: Jarlinson Pantano (IAM Cycling), Rafal Majka (Tinkoff), Alexis Vuillermoz (AG2R La Mondiale)
BMC Racing Team Top 3: 18. Richie Porte, 30. Tejay van Garderen, 46. Amaël Moinard
BMC Racing Team Top 3 on GC: 7. Richie Porte, 8. Tejay van Garderen, 23. Damiano Caruso
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