Tour de France: Chris Froome looking forward to mountain stages in the Pyrenees
Last Updated: 06/07/13 4:39pm
Chris Froome has safely negotiated the first week of the Tour de France
Chris Froome admitted it was a relief to survive another testing day at the Tour de France and is now looking forward to commencing the battle for overall victory on Saturday's eighth stage in the Pyrenees.
The Team Sky leader finished in the main bunch on a pulsating seventh stage to Albi won by Peter Sagan after his Cannondale team had forced a fierce pace for much of the day.
Froome also avoided an early crash and is pleased to be able to turn his attentions to stages eight and nine, which are both high-mountain stages that suit his climbing style.
"Without my team I cannot get this win. This victory is for all our team together."
"We didn't expect Cannondale to take it up the way they did," Froome said. "We are glad to get to the finish and we are a day closer to the mountains now.
"It will definitely be a fight on the climb tomorrow up to the finish. This is what we have trained for and we are looking forward to putting it to good use now.
"I think we have got a well-established style of racing already. I don't see us doing anything differently. Obviously in the heat of the race you have got to be able to make calls within those last few kilometres. I am sure it is going to come down to that tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it."
Sagan praises team
Sagan's victory was his first of this year's race, having finished second three times, and afterwards he praised his team-mates for an outstanding display of tactics and endurance.
Cannondale dropped sprinters such as Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel by setting a ferocious speed up the second of the day's categorised climbs, and then maintained the gap as the sprint teams worked together in a futile bid to regain contact.
"I am very happy and thank my team," Sagan said. "Without my team I cannot get this win. This victory is for all our team together.
"After my first crash [on stage one] I didn't feel very good. I trusted myself and day by day I have been getting better and today I got my first victory."