Tour de France stage 15 reactions: Wout Poels, Wilco Kelderman, Ben O'Connor, Wout van Aert
Jul 12 2021 10:19 am CET

Tour de France stage 15 reactions: Wout Poels, Wilco Kelderman, Ben O'Connor, Wout van Aert
Tour de France stage 15 reactions: Wout Poels, Wilco Kelderman, Ben O'Connor, Wout van Aert
Photo by ASO/Alex BROADWAY

The second week of competition in the Tour de France has finished with a victory of Sepp Kuss in Andorra and Tadej Pogacar as the leader of the General Classification.

Just before the second rest day in Andorra, the peloton faced a difficult day on the saddle that featured three climbs of the first category in the Pyrenees. The day finished with the victory of Sepp Kuss after being in a breakaway that also included his teammates Steven Kruijswijk and Wout van Aert and Wout Poels on top of the mountain classification.

Here are the reactions of some of the riders after one of the most difficult stages of the week:

Wout Poels (Bahrain Victorious, leader of the KOM classification):

"I’m really happy to be back in the jersey and also finishing on the podium for the stage. I think it was a super good day with three guys in the front, keeping us in the fight for the team GC. It was hard with Wout Van Aert in the sprints for the points, but I managed to beat him one time and took good points on the last KOM to move into the jersey. We take it day by day, but I’ll rest up tomorrow for more battles on the mountains for the jersey."

Wilco Kelderman (Bora-hansgrohe):

"It was definitely not going to be an easy stage, but the high temperatures and a very strong pace, from start to finish, made it a particularly difficult one. My teammates put in a great effort to support me. Patrick and Emu were with me all the way to the top of the penultimate climb. Then it was Lukas that took over, as he had dropped from the breakaway and waited for me. So, until the start of the final climb, I was well-supported and afterwards, it was up to each rider's legs. I suffered a lot in the last climb and in some of the attacks I struggled to follow. Still, I kept riding at my own pace and always managed to bridge to the small GC group. I'm feeling quite well, I avoided any time losses, and I'm optimistic about the third week of the Tour."

Ben O'Connor (AG2R Citroën):

"I knew the last climb very well because I live very pretty close by, and I often come to the area for picnics or barbecues. I knew the descent was very technical. I had a good feeling and I'm proud to fight with the best riders in the overall standings."

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma):

"It was a tricky start. The first 30 kilometres included very narrow and twisty roads, so we were prepared for a big fight. We wanted to have no more than two guys on the break, because we wanted to have at least two guys with Jonas [Vingegaard]. It was by accident that it finally was three of us guys in the break. We made a plan for Steven [Kruijswijk] to wait for Jonas as I rode for Sepp [Kuss] at the front. This was Sepp’s day. He lives in Andorra, and he was looking forward to this stage. I’m happy he managed to get this amazing victory for him and for the team. He spends the whole year working for others, so it’s nice he gets his own chance. Jonas is really trying to gain some time on [Tadej] Pogacar and the rest of the favourites. It hasn’t worked out so far, but we will keep trying. Everyone is so committed and helpful on this team."




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