“The time of day is the backguard movement in the Tour de France,” opened Karl Vanneukerke. “It was a very difficult phase: it rained women all day and there were victims on the way to Tignes.”
“Matthew van der Poel and Primus Roglic didn’t start, Tim Merler gave up and Arnaud Demare and Brian Coquard’s time was up. There was one just in time and he was very happy with it: Mark Cavendish.”
This made Cavendish emotional. Surrounded by his teammates Tim Declercq and Michael Mørkøv as well as Dries Devenyns, who stood by his side all day as a guardian angel.
“Cavendish knew that if he arrived in time, there were still chances after the rest day. It’s as if he won the stage. Cavendish is still dreaming of stage victories and the green jersey in Paris.”
Shaking Mark Cavendish gave an interview to Tignes wearing a green shirt. “Surviving this stage means a lot, because this stage really scared us,” said the British sprinter in the Deconinc Quick Step.
“My teammates could have driven faster, but they stayed with me and supported me. Having this group of players around me makes me emotional.”
“I told my wife Peta in recent years that I was jealous of the Deceuninck-Quick Step or Groupama-FDJ runners, because these teams support their runners in the mountains. I left my own devices.”
“Even more than the sprint stages, this work humiliates me. Dries (Devenins), Tim (DeClerc) and Michael Murkoff were in the lead uphill and they decided the pace.”
Apparently Cavendish suffered a lot on the way to Tignes. “As much as I wanted to get back on the tour, I would have erased days like these from my memory. I was devastated.”