â€śThis is a dream come true. It's been an incredible day. I'm so happy that I've won the queen stage! It's special. I've showed that I'm not only a time trial specialist. I can do more. A few days ago, had you asked me if I was going to win the queen stage, I would have said you're crazy. I wasn't feeling good at the beginning of the Tour but eventually I felt better these past few days and even very good this morning so I decided to go on the attack. I took a few turns in the breakaway but not many. I was one of the strongest of the front group, and maybe the strongest. Since I'm a time trial specialist, it would have been hard to catch me, I presume. But up the last hill, my power was going down. I was feeling I was slowing down and I was scared I'd be caught but nobody came along.
It's nice to ride and make history. I don't think any Dutchman won a stage at each of three consecutive Grand Tours. That's very special. It's the kind of thing that makes me get the best of myself. I don't want to compare those three wins at Vuelta, Giro and Tour. To win the queen stage of the Tour de France is really big but the time trial of the Giro at Appeldoorn with the pink jersey was also something very nice.
I need to climb one step or two or three in the hierarchy to be able to ride the Grand Tours as a GC contender. I don't have the level of these guys. I wasn't going well enough in the first week of the Tour de France to have ambitions on GC. It's not worth competing for twelfth place. To win this stage is much better. I'm not good enough to make the top ten of the Tour de France yet but I hope to step in in the future.
I've always had the time trial of the Olympic Games at the back of my mind. This is my biggest goal of the season and I haven't changed anything with this regards when I wasn't feeling good at the beginning of the Tour. But today's victory gives me a lot of confidence, also for the rest of the Tour. I can pick my days and help my team. I always said I came here aiming for a stage win. Whether it was going to be a time trial or a mountain stage didn't matter. Now I have the confidence and a good level for the upcoming time trials.â€ť