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"Tomorrow? There will surely be some fireworks and we could see a few time gaps; we can't say if such a battle will come from us or not, but I don't have any doubts - something will happen tomorrow."

Photo: Sirotti

ALEJANDRO VALVERDE

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MOVISTAR TEAM

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NAIRO QUINTANA

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TOUR DE FRANCE

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19.07.2015 @ 18:49 Posted by Andy Pedersen

183km covered in less than four hours between Mende and Valence brought the first bunch sprint in the Tour de France formore than a week on stage 15 as German André Greipel (LTS) took a final rush exempt from serious incidents.

 

Nairo Quintana and Alejandro Valverde kept their places in the overall standings, 2nd and 4th, as the Blues stayed in the lead of the teams' classification following a tremendous start, with Movistar Team's Winner Anacona and José Herrada in an early, 27-man break, eventually caught.

 

“I didn't think the bunch sprint was guaranteed," said Valverde, “because the riders at the front [including the likes of Sagan (TCS), Kwiatkowski (EQS) and Pinot (FDJ)] were talented and strong, but eventually, there were many teams interested in catching them, even though it took a lot.

 

"Tomorrow? There will surely be some fireworks and we could see a few time gaps; we can't say if such a battle will come from us or not, but I don't have any doubts - something will happen tomorrow."

 

Imanol Erviti, still into recovery after stomach problems suffered some days ago, his performance compromised since then, was the only bit of suffering from an unscathed block which is waiting for the Alps to come, following a second rest day preceeded by an interesting stage 16 on Monday: Bourg-de-Péage - Gap, 201 long kilometers with the Col de Manse (Cat-2, 8.9km at 5.6%) just before the end.

 

"It was a normal day but not a quiet one," Quintana said. "The start has been very demanding. It hurt everyone. It would be fabulous to have a quiet day tomorrow. I know the finale. We'll have to pay attention to Froome and to all the other rivals who could attack me. I feel very well, much better than at the Giro I won last year, being sick.

 

"I'm actually excited for the Alps to come. We're ready and I think we'll fare well; we've got a strong team and we showed it again today with several attacks into the early breakaways. We're all willing to take on the final challenge, and even though tomorrow might become an irrelevant day, we must keep focus. We hope to get through the stage well and enjoy that final rest day."

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