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"I should have won. I really thought I was winning this time. When Thibault caught me on the climb I was exhausted. We are friends but we both have been fooled by Cummings. It would have been so much better if one of us had won."

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18.07.2015 @ 22:18 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Romain Bardet, third on the line in Mende, admitted he and Thibaut Pinot had misjudged the finale leaving the door open for Stephen Cummings to win stage 15.

 

"In the Pyrenees, I was beaten by stronger than me, but this time… With Thibaut we made a tactical error that cost victory to the both of us. We were watching each other and we didn't watch out for Stephen Cummings who was coming back. He was very cunning and he got away from us with 500 metres to go.

 

"I don't know what Thibaut did in the finale but he left ten metres to Cummings in a turn. We were outwitted. I didn't see Cummings come back. I was watching Thibaut and I was hoping to beat him in the sprint.

 

"I should have won. I really thought I was winning this time. When Thibault caught me on the climb I was exhausted. We are friends but we both have been fooled by Cummings. It would have been so much better if one of us had won.

 
"We both missed our Tour so far and it would have been good for one or the other to win. Too bad. The form is back, but it would be nice to deliver at last.

 

"I attacked early in the climb but I did not know the road very wel.! There are still opportunities for a stage victory in the Alps. However I will need to choose wisely where to attack because I am really tired."

 

"I'm not angry that Bardet did not win, but I had hoped and expected him to do so. It was surprising to learn that Cummings had won," Bardet's teammate Jan Bakelants told Sporza.

 

 

"Then you feel like a fool. Cummings is a good rider, but also a time trial specialist who rides his own pace. I had better stayed with him because I could maintain his pace.

 

"In the sprint I would have won. But I thought Romain would win. Then it did not much matter whether I was sixth or eighth. That makes it hurt.

 

"I wanted to win today. I also had to attack a couple of times. Bardet and Van Avermaet on the other hand were just lucky."

 

Their teammate Jean-Christophe Peraud who crashed yesterday, survived a tough day.

 

"I fought a lot today," he said. "The first 70 kilometers were truly exhausting for me. The peloton was riding really fast because everybody wanted to be in the breakaway. Then, the rythm was more reasonable but on the final climb I could not follow anymore . Now I definetely need to rest and to stay positive."

 

"We do not know what to think about today's stage," sports director Julien Jurdie said. "On one hand, we are really satisfied to have placed two riders in the break. On the other hand there is frustation because Romain was in a position to win. We were all suprised to see Cummings ' violent attack. He is an experienced rider who took advantage of the little gap he made. However, what I keep in mind is our ability to move on after two terrible moutain stages."

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