Wednesday July 18th, 2012

Stage 16Pau / Bagnères-de-Luchon

Start 11h20 GMT 2+

Thomas Voeckler: I felt I had good legs

interview18.07.2012Stage 16- Pau / Bagnères-de-Luchon

He was fourth overall in 2011 and the Parisian podium became a dream for Thomas Voeckler. He won't stand in the middle of the Champs-Elysées by improving on his position in the overall rankings but now he's in contention for the King of the Mountains crown...

“This morning at the start, considering the number of mountain that were spread across the stage, I couldn't really claim that I was the best rider to go and hunt the polka-dot jersey. There were at least a dozen riders who were in a similar position. Then, once the escape of 38 riders was established, I really felt I had good legs. But anyway, I approached this stage as if there were four races, one to the top of each of the climbs.
“I said we had to increase the pace on the climb of the Tourmalet, because the gap to the peloton was not significant enough. We worked with Yukiya (Arashiro), who accompanied me during my victory already on the day I won at Bellegarde-en-Valserine. And then, when we were with [Brice] Feillu, and only 30 seconds ahead of [Chris Anker] Sorensen and Vinokourov, I attacked because it was not sure of myself if I reached the top with them nearby. But once I crested the Peyresourde with a lead of a minute and a half, I could begin to appreciate what had been achieved already. I'm a good on descents so the stage victory then became a priority.
“I am very proud of what I did, because it resembles what I saw on TV when I was a kid. I'm in another dimension. It's cycling as I like to practice it. Now my priority is to defend the polka-dot jersey. And normally, my Tour will effectively be over once we finish the stage tomorrow!”

Stage 16 Pau / Pau

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 5

Classifications after the stage 5

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