Sunday July 7th, 2013

Stage 9Saint-Girons / Bagnères-de-Bigorre

Start 11h30 GMT 2+

Chris Froome: "One of the hardest days that I've ever had on a bike..."

interview07.07.2013Stage 9- Saint-Girons / Bagnères-de-Bigorre

On his first day as leader of the Tour de France the leader of Sky, Chris Froome, was under attack. He found himself isolated without any team-mates but he managed to mark his rivals and keep the yellow jersey...

“We've got a great team here but we have had a really hard day today. There's a rest day tomorrow and we'll definitely soak that up and come out again in force, hopefully, on Tuesday.

“That was really one of the hardest days that I've ever had on a bike but I'm just happy to still be in the yellow jersey. My team-mates made a huge effort yesterday and I think they were just paying for that effort today a bit. I was a little bit exposed there in the front group but I felt like I was riding quite within myself and I was happy that I was able to follow the biggest challenges.

“Credit where it's due: the Movistar team really rode a good race today. They had a lot of riders in that front group and they did put me under pressure. That was quite hard being on my own there but I did feel as though I was riding within myself on the climb. Every team has got their own motive in the race and their own reasons to ride so there are a few races happening within the race.

“It's quite normal for the leader to be a little isolated. My team-mates dug really deep yesterday to get me into the yellow jersey and today they paid a little bit for that but we also didn't have a great start to the day with Pete Kennaugh crashing early on in the race and, obviously, the race wasn't going to slow down for him to come back.

“Richie was doing quite a lot of work earlier on just covering the bigger attacks that were going and he actually helped me to get into the front group. He did a great job for me today and I think it's quite normal that he wasn't on the front – it's good to see that he's also human.

“It's definitely a long way from being over. We've got two weeks of really hard racing ahead and we're going to have to really fight for it like we did today. Other teams will test us all the way to Paris.”

Stage 9 Saint-Girons / Bagnères-de-Bigorre

All about the stage key moments

Jersey wearers after the stage 14

Classifications after the stage 14

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