Tour de France stage 16 reactions: Wout Poels, Mark Cavendish, Tadej Pogacar, Michael Matthews
Jul 14 2021 08:31 am CET

Tour de France stage 16 reactions: Wout Poels, Mark Cavendish, Tadej Pogacar, Michael Matthews
Tour de France stage 16 reactions: Wout Poels, Mark Cavendish, Tadej Pogacar, Michael Matthews
Tour de France

The 16th stage of the Tour de France has taken the peloton through the Pyrenees once again and Patrick Konrad took there his maiden victory in the race.

The mountain range welcomed the pack once again and the latest breakaway of the day was bound to fight for the victory. Konrad attacked in the last stretch and crossed the finish line on his own, taking the first victory in the race of his career, while the individual classifications remained the same.

Here are some reactions of the first day of the last week of competition:

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

"Today I was thinking of going in the break if the possibility arouse, while keeping also an eye on my rivals to follow their moves. In the end, none of us went on the break, so I have been able to save up my legs for the next two days. It has been a nice day, despite the bad weather. I hope to win tomorrow. I’m going to get in the break and try to battle up the final climb, also to collect some points for the KOM classification, as this summit finish scores double."

Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-Quick-Step, leader of the Points Classification):

"It wasn’t a nice day, but it was enjoyable. I respond well to cold weather: it is as if I could breathe easier in these conditions. It went well for me. Now there are two mountain top finishes to go in a row, on which I hope to survive. As for the green jersey, there is nothing I can do in this kind of stages against guys who can climb and go for points in the intermediate sprints."

Tadej Pogacar (UAE Team Emirates, leader of the General Classification):

"It was a really hard day. We started with cold weather and a big group tried to break away. The first two hours were full-gas. Then we manage to ease up a bit, but afterwards the last kilometres were quite fast again. Actually, I don’t know what we were doing in that final acceleration. I was just following wheels. Anyway, it was a good warm-up for tomorrow. Tomorrow it’s the hardest day of the Tour, so let’s see. I did a recon of [the routes of] tomorrow and the day after, so I know the climbs. It would be better if I hadn’t seen them! [laughs] I’m not worried about the climbs, but I know it will be a very hard day."

Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange):

"I think today was a good opportunity for a stage win for a rider like myself. Our plan was to go in the breakaway, and we achieved that. The plan was to get some points in the intermediate, and we achieved that, but just came up short with the stage win. I think the whole team did a great job at the start to get two guys in the breakaway; myself and Chris Juul-Jensen. We keep bashing at the door to get that stage win, and we will continue fighting for it. I am closer (to the points classification lead) but not close enough. Cavendish still has two more sprint opportunities in this Tour de France. If he wins them then that's another 100 points, so all this work I've been doing the last days could be all for nothing, but I am a fighter and I will fight all the way to Paris."



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