Here are the best reactions from the 2020 Tour de France contenders as Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) emerged the strongest on the tough ascent of the Grand Colombier in Stage 15, sprinting clear of race leader Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) to claim victory in style.
By
SBS Cycling Central

14 Sep 2020 - 10:06 AM 

Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) 2nd on Stage 15, 1st overall

"The guys were really strong, actually the plan was to let the breakaway go, it wasn't on us to (control) the race," Roglič said. 

"But then we saw we can control it and the guys were feeling really well."

"Unfortunately, I was a little too short at the end, but anyway it was a really nice day for us."

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"For sure he (Pogačar) was the strongest and I am a little bit disappointed about that.

"We are friends, but we all want to win and we will always fight it out all the way."  

Roglič adamant he has 'nothing to hide' after another day in yellow
Jumbo Visma's Primož Roglič insists there should be no suspicion in regards to his consistently strong performances in the 2020 Tour de France, as he remains atop the GC rankings after a hard Stage 15.

Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) 1st on Stage 15, 2nd overall +40'

"Today was really a stage, first to go in the breakaway," Pogačar said.

"We had (Marco) Marcato in the break, a really good job by him. Jumbo set the pace really high all day, it made it a really difficult stage. In the end, I was waiting for the sprint and I’m so happy to win again.

"I think Jumbo was really prepared for today. There was, in my point of view, no point to attack."

"For the moment, he (Roglič) seems unstoppable but today Bernal cracked, maybe one day I crack or maybe Roglič.

"You never know in a three-week stage race, especially the Tour. There are still opportunities." 

Pogačar in hunt for yellow
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) continued his upward march in the battle for the yellow jersey, though he only clawed back four seconds on Slovenian compatriot Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) with his Stage 15 victory.
Pogačar salutes Grand Colombier win as top climbers emerge
Tadej Pogačar (UAE Team Emirates) emerged the strongest on the tough ascent of the Grand Colombier, sprinting clear of race leader Primož Roglič (Jumbo-Visma) and Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) to claim victory in style.
 

Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) 3rd on Stage 15, 6th overall +2'13

“It was nice to be able to sit on the wheels of Jumbo-Visma on the final climb and I felt pretty comfortable," Porte said.

"The pace was pretty high and when Yates attacked, they never really struggled. I think they lost George Bennett, but that was it.

“I knew from doing Tour de ‘lAin, where I attacked with two kilometres to go and not really knowing the finish, so today my plan was always to sit in as long as I could.

"When I got to 500m to go and Roglic attacked and I had to go to the front and do my pace.

"I am never going to beat guys like Pogačar and Roglič on a finish like that - sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t, but it was good to put time into some other GC guys.”

Porte leads into final metres of Grand Colombier climb
Richie Porte (Trek-Segafredo) continues to impress at the Tour de France, again looking the best of the rest of the climbers behind the top two on the general classification.
Porte's support proving 2020 is no repeat of past mistakes
It's been a long time since the 2016 incarnation of Richie Porte with BMC produced his best-ever performance in a Grand Tour, a fifth on the general classification that could have been so much better with the same support that he received last night in an almost identical situation.

“The big guys did a great job looking after me for the first 100kms and Mads (Pedersen) and Jasper (Stuyven) put me in a perfect position for the first climb. And then I had Kenny there with me. It was a good day for the team.

“Jumbo-Visma had a good pace and it was hard to do much off that pace.

"At the end of the day, you almost have to look at them as your teammates when they’re that strong to control.

"But I am happy for today, I am motivated for the last week of the Tour.

"Now I am looking forward to the rest day and recover a bit and hopefully have a good last week of the Tour.”

Nairo Quintana (Arkéa-Samsic) 18th on Stage 15, 9th overall +5'08

"I knew it would be difficult to resist on this stage with the series of difficulties up to the summit of Grand-Colombier," Quintana said.

"I tried to, but the fall I suffered on Puy Mary was hard because we were driving very fast. It caused a lot of pain. 

"But ultimately a fall remains a fall, it is with my pride and my heart that I climbed to the top of the Grand-Colombier. 

"I will now try to recover and finish on this Tour from the top. 

"The work of the whole team was fundamental so that I could stay ahead of the race, and I would like to thank everyone because without my teammates, I could have lost a lot more time on the end of this stage."

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Egan Bernal (INEOS Grenadiers) 25th on Stage 15, 13th overall +8'25

"It was not going well from the first climb to be honest," Bernal said.

"I was almost dropped there. I was suffering full gas from the first climb. 

"Then I was trying to to fight until the final. Even if I started the last climb with them I knew already I would be dropped. 

Wiggins questions Brailsford's Tour selections after contenders slip up
Former British Tour de France winner Sir Bradley Wiggins has criticised the selections of Ineos-Grenadiers' general manager Dave Brailsford, questioning the omissions of Chris Froome and Geraint Thomas after Stage 15 saw their top riders crash out of the race for the yellow jersey.
'I was empty' - Bernal's Tour de France crushed on the Colombier
A second yellow jersey for Egan Bernal lies in tatters as he buckled under the pressure inflicted by the swarm of Primož Roglič's men on the Grand Colombier.

"But I wanted to give my best not just for me but for the team and for the respect I have for the race, I'm the number 1. But there are riders far stronger than me. 

"The feeling was that I was empty. I had no power.

"I couldn't squeeze my body, I was like, you know when they did a big acceleration I couldn't go too hard and then I recovered but my body can't squeeze as normal."