Tour de France stage 18 reactions: Romain Bardet, Julian Alaphilippe, Thibaut Pinot, Emanuel Buchmann
Jul 26 2019 05:44 am CET

Tour de France stage 18 reactions: Romain Bardet, Julian Alaphilippe, Thibaut Pinot, Emanuel Buchmann
Tour de France stage 18 reactions: Romain Bardet, Julian Alaphilippe, Thibaut Pinot, Emanuel Buchmann
Tour de France

The 18th stage of the Tour de France was the first Alpine stage and the first chance for the GC contenders to try each other in the last week, a chance that Egan Bernal took to win some time over the rest. Romain Bardet, Julian Alaphilippe, Thibaut Pinot and Emanuel Buchmann shared their thoughts at the end of the stage.

Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale)

"The polka dot jersey was the goal for the day. There was also the stage victory, but this jersey was my desire. It's a good way to make me smile. I was so well supported by the team. I never lost their trust. I felt it in their eyes, in the briefings. Today, I was able to count on a super-strong Mikaël Chérel in the break. The sensations are not what they should be, but there are two days left to fight, and it feels good to have a smile at the finish."

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-Quick-Step)

"I took some risks in the downhill of the Galibier after I took a gel and ten seconds to recover from my efforts. Then I stayed focused on three curves and I had a motorbike in sight. The only mistake not to be made was to crash. I was at the limit but I took the first position of the group after I came across because I love going fast downhill and I wanted to show them that I was back. I promised to give it all in the mountains and I did. It’ll be the same again tomorrow and the day after. I won’t give up. I realize what’s happening in the country. The expectations are huge. All I can do is to do my best."

Thibaut Pinot (Groupama-FDJ)

"It was not a great day. You just have to go through these days. We didn't manage to follow (Egan) Bernal, who was very strong. Now we will have to mountain finishes, there should be more things going on, movement in the race and that is better. We have seen that Movistar is very strong and it wasn't a surprise. Now they have two cards in the General Classification with (Nairo) Quintana and (Mikel) Landa. They and Ineos are the teams that have to move the race."

Emanuel Buchmann (Bora-hansgrohe)

"Movistar ramped up the pace on the Izoard, making the race hard, so it was important to have Gregor (Mühlberger) by my side. I'd like to really thank him for his effort, he managed to crest and then was also helpful in the first part of the Galibier. The pace wasn't too hard there and that could be the reason (Julian) Alaphilippe could follow us all the way to the top. When (Egan) Bernal attacked, our plan was to wait for the reaction from Jumbo-Visma. I followed Geraint's attack and together with (Thibaut) Pinot we were able to catch him. I would say that was the hardest part of the race. Alaphilippe was dropped for a short time but then came back in the downhill. So, overall it wasn't a day where you could make substantial gains but on the contrary, you could lose time, which I avoided. My legs are in good shape and I am fairly positive about the next two hard mountain stages."



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