Tour de France (stage 16), Nairo Quintana 4th overall
At the end of the first stage in the Pyrenees, which finished in Foix, Nairo Quintana moved up two places in the overall classification and moved up to 4th place.
On the line
“I found myself on the Mur de Péguère with yellow jersey Vingegaard and his runner-up Pogaćar. I felt good, my team-mates did a great job for me beforehand. A great job. I really want to thank them. I’m satisfied because tonight I gained two places in the general classification. I am fourth. These are good signals for the remaining stages in the Pyrenees. It is important for me and for the Arkéa-Samsic team. I had a good feeling today, now we will see what happens in the next two mountain stages. I have been very consistent since the beginning of this Tour, this was a stage I knew because I finished 2nd here. Maxime and Lukasz who were in the breakaway helped me perfectly when I fell on them. We have to keep on being regular, with the team we are all very motivated”.
“I was in the breakaway at the beginning of the stage with Maxime, the goal was to be a relay for Nairo. When he came back on me in Péguère, I asked him if he wanted to eat or drink. And I gave him what he wanted”.
“Yvon had seen that after five kilometres of racing there was a bump followed by a downward slope and a side wind. He had really insisted that we take the breakaway when it appeared there. The aim was to put one or more Arkéa-Samsic riders in front to act as a relay for Nairo afterwards. Lukasz and I took the breakaway and our group quickly gained time. We had a good lead before the Port de Lers, which allowed me to climb this difficulty without forcing myself too much, then Nairo and his group came back on me and I did the descent with him. I put him back on his bike, I went to get him some food and drink and then he fell back on Lukasz who did the same. It was another great stage for Nairo and for the whole Arkéa-Samsic team”.
“The result is positive for the Arkéa-Samsic team as Nairo has gained two places in the general classification, he is 4th overall this evening after the first Pyrenean stage in Foix. I would like to salute his performance, but also, and above all, the work of his team-mates. Nairo did a good job today, but his team-mates did an exceptional job. The key to success for a leader is the teamwork, and the whole group respected the instructions given, and this was the case from our leader to all the riders around him. We are going to stay focused day after day on this Tour. Arkéa-Samsic had a great day today, and tomorrow it has to be the same, and so on.