"In front of the Fabio Casartelli memorial, I've thought of his family, which is the most important considering the circumstances of the tragedy. My memory of the accident is the one of a child. I remember seeing it on TV but I didn't understand very well. As a young rider, I won an award at his name. I want to dedicate a victory to his family.
It was a very long stage of 240km. In the first 70, my team worked enormously to catch the escapees. We've had to close a few gaps. Once we reached the ascent to Port de Balès, Movistar rode hard and I paid attention because Valverde was the most dangerous in my mind. He was likely to go very fast downhill. At the top, when Pinot accelerated, I was mostly looking for a bottle with sugar to grab. I don't underestimate Pinot. I don't underestimate anyone. I've learnt that last year at the Vuelta [racing against Chris Horner]. When Pinot attacked, I went to catch him straight away. Valverde let a gap. I didn't let the gap grow.
At that point, there weren't team-mates of mine any more but they've worked hard since I took the yellow jersey on day 2 in Sheffield. I'm not worried because I also haven't seen many team-mates from other teams. Such a stage takes its toll onto everyone. It'll remain in the legs of many riders.
Today's stage looked like it would be pretty quiet and the race exploded in the finale. Tomorrow, it's completely different. It's short, only 120km, it'll much more intense. It can be difficult as well. We'll handle the race day by day. We've worked well until now. We'll try to defend the yellow jersey just as well in the next few days.
Oleg Tinkoff came and congratulated me [after pretending a few days ago that Contador would lead the race, hadn't he crashed]. I also congratulated him for his team's stage wins. He's a special person. He loves the sport. He's got a true passion for cycling. We need more sponsors like him. Besides being a sponsor, he's present at the races. I understand that he's full of praise for Alberto Contador who needs support now to think of the Vuelta."