Kamna claims his first Tour de France Stage victory with strong performance in the mountains
By Chuck Gibson (Interview quotes provided by Le Tour de France)
INTERNATIONAL (September 15, 2020) – First he pounded the competition pumping his pedals through the mountains, then Lennard Kamna pounded his chest and pumped his fist as he crossed the finish line first to win Stage 16 of the Tour de France on Tuesday.
It was an action-packed day on the Tour with a large breakaway with strong competitors getting out early. As the mountains took their toll, competition narrowed to Richard Carapaz and Lennard Kamna. Kamna proved stronger and smarter choosing the right moment to attack Carapaz and ride off into an insurmountable lead. Carapaz finished second with a time gap of 1 minute -27 seconds.
“I’m feeling great. It has been an absolutely awesome day for me out there,” said Kamna. “I knew I had to make it to the finish alone in order to win. On the climb, I saw Carapaz was losing speed after his attacks and I understood it was my moment to have a go. This victory is a big relief for the team. As for me, I couldn’t imagine I was able to pull out a victory like this one.”
Carapaz gave credit to Kamna for a “well-deserved” win. Kamna had a tough second-place finish in an earlier stage, but gained the win and respect from his competitor today.
“I don’t feel disappointed for not having won today,” said Carapaz. “Lennard Kämna was the strongest today. I did my best. I couldn’t do more. It’s a well-deserved triumph for him, and for me it means a lot to come second in a Tour de France stage.”
The day was relatively quiet for the overall leaders in the tour. Primoz Roglic and Tadej Pogacar remain first and second with only 40 seconds separating them. For now, Roglic keeps the Yellow Jersey. Third on the podium for overall is Rigoberto Uran standing 1 minute – 34 seconds behind Roglic. The Tour resumes Wednesday with Stage 17.
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