Thursday July 18th, 2013

Stage 18Gap / Alpe-d'Huez

Start 12h30 GMT 2+

Christophe Riblon: "It's a huge thrill to see the race to reverse"

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

The first French stage winner of the 2013 Tour desperately tried to answer questions in English. Christophe Riblon searched for the right words to explain himself but then offered further explanation in French...

“When I was about eight years old, I saw on the TV a victory of a cyclist at Alpe d'Huez and I hoped that one day maybe I could do it too. Today, when I saw at the start of the climb that van Garderen attacked me I knew I couldn't follow him and I told myself, ‘S---, I finish second like two days ago...' After, at three kilometres from the finish, I saw him and he didn't look good so I started to believe in my good stars. And I sprinted and the public supported me and I'm in the sky!”

* * * * *

“It was a crazy final. At five kilometres to go, I no longer believed it was possible. But Julien Jurdie was in the car, and he still believed in me and never stopped encouraging me, saying, ‘He's bonked, you'll catch him!' At that time, I was riding for second place so I was giving it my all on the climb. Then, when I saw him ahead of me, I realised he had the very distinctive position of a rider who is not coping. So I came back up to him, and I absolutely did not want to leave him any hope that he could accompany me… I had no hesitation and I immediately attacked. It's a huge thrill to see the race reversed."

“I remember the last time when Pierre Rolland won here, I thought I missed something, and this time it's great to raise my arms at Alpe d'Huez. On this Tour the team fought hard but we lost two riders with fractures, Maxime Bouet and early Jean-Christophe Péraud yesterday. This morning, we are told that we had ward off bad luck, and finish our tour with our heads.”

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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