Thursday July 18th, 2013

Stage 18Gap / Alpe-d'Huez

Start 12h30 GMT 2+

Chris Froome: "This was definitely one of the harder days"

interview18.07.2013Stage 18- Gap / Alpe-d??Huez

The race leader finished the 18th stage in seventh place but extended his lead on second place in general classification. He took a feed, that was collected by Richie Porte from the team car, on the final climb and a penalty of 20 seconds will be issued by the race jury but Chris Froome accepts that - he felt he had no choice...

“Richie Porte is a really great guy. I mean, he put aside all his ambitions in this race to help keep the jersey on my shoulders and he did such a good job today – really fantastic. I mean he paced me through that whole climb basically. It was really hard to talk on that climb, there was just so much noise going through all those people so to be able to talk we had to get really close to each other but it was just talking to dictate what pace we should carry on at just to try and get through the stage.
“It was a really hard day today but I think, all in all, it's a really good day for us – just extending the lead on general classification. Also, something else about today: it's Nelson Mandela Day and I would like, from my point of view, to inspire a lot of young Africans to be able to achieve their ambitions today.

“I'm not sure about the technicality of the time penalty – if Richie is going to get it or if I'm going to get the penalty – but it's understandable. I really felt that I needed those sugars in the final, so if it comes with a 20 second penalty, then I have to accept that.

“This was definitely one of the harder days that we've seen in this Tour but I think that's to be expected: two times up Alpe d'Huez and this late in the race, it's definitely a hard day and also keeping in mind what's coming up tomorrow.

“We had a little mechanical problem with the car a little bit further back and we weren't able to feed from the car before the climb so at that point, I just thought, ‘Okay, we don't really have any other option...' with five kilometres to go we made the decision to try and get something but even though it's cost us another 20 seconds. If we look at the bigger picture here and what we've done, we've just extended our lead. If that's a bad day, I'll definitely take that.”

Stage 18 Gap / Alpe-d'Huez

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 14

Classifications after the stage 14

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