Giro d’Italia: Stage 5 reactions

Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal), winner of the stage:

“Chapeau to my teammates today. It was hard for them to chase down the break but they continued to work for me even if the other teams didn’t help us. In the sprint, I tried not to be blocked in. There was still 300 metres to go but I felt good and decided to go for it. I’m happy to have won like that.”

“I think it started up with chasing the breakaway down. Jelle Vanendert kept riding with Giant-Alpecin and the other riders didn’t help. We had to gamble a little bit and in the end we used two more riders with Lars Bak and Wellens to chase the breakaway down. The others kept me up front and I tried to stay up on the final lap and Jurgen Roelandts did an amazing job from 5km to the final kilometre to keep me up there.

“For the sprint, I thought to myself, please don’t get boxed in and I went early but I thought I would give it a go. I saw the gap and I went through, and I gave everything I had in my legs.

“It was really important to stay up there in the front with a lot of corners and downhills, especially the U-turn with 1.5km to go. Jurgen Roelandts did an amazing job to keep me up there in front. Everybody slowed with about 400 metres to go and I thought if I see a gap then I’ll go through. I have good legs today and even though the team is a big part of it I think that I did a good sprint today.”

Tom Dumoulin (Giant-Alpecin):

“It was a really hard day, it was all up and down and it was fast with four guys in the break. Then in the final the speed was crazy.

“Tomorrow we’ve got the first uphill finish. It’s going to be a tough finish and we’ll really find out how everyone’s form is. We’ll see what happens in the finale.

“It went exactly like we expected. It was a hard day, the whole day up and down but it was quite easy to control for our team. The final was… now I really know what they mean by saying sprinting in Italy is different; it was incredible. It was so chaotic and really dangerous. I actually suffered in the final but I guess everyone did. I can handle it but when you’re not going for a result in a sprint like this then I would have liked it to be way more calm.

“[On the tomorrow] The finish is not too hard. I am expecting not to lose too much time if I lose any.”

Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida):

“It’s not that the sprints are more dangerous than others, but that there are people who are a little bit more stupid. That guy who crashed, I don’t know where he was hoping to go at that speed in that curve. Unfortunately, I had my team work for nothing.

“It’s enough to just be attentive. They say I’m dangerous at times, but I’ve never caused crashes nor caused them. It’s ironic. The Giro is more technical, but all you need to do is be attentive and understand your limits.”

Marcel Kittel (Etixx – Quick-Step):

“It was a very hard day today. There was a lot of climbing today so it wasn’t a normal sprint. I just wasn’t strong enough today, so I want to congratulate Greipel and his team. They deserved to win.

“Honestly, I don’t think today was the biggest and best chance for me. We had 800 altitude metres more than on the mountain stage yesterday, so I struggled a bit, to be honest. It was super tough. Andre is super strong and he deserved to win and from now on we are looking to the next day. I hope stage 7 is a good chance after the mountain stage tomorrow.

“A sprint is always hectic. I don’t want to say it is an Italian style of sprinting. You just have to have the strength and the team to help you stay in front. A sprint finish like this is only hectic because you have people trying to go for themselves with no support and then you have to have good legs to stay in a good position.”

Vincenzo Nibali (Astana):

“It was quite nervous in the finale but nothing special,” Nibali said as he sat on the steps of the Astana bus afterwards. “I was together with [Mikel] Landa. I didn’t see where the gap was formed and I didn’t see how it opened up, because four seconds are really a lot. The peloton was lined out but from what I could make out, I didn’t see gaps.”

“The Roccaraso stage could tell us something and it could tell us nothing. After Roccaraso, there’ll be a lot of other big mountain top finishes to come,” Nibali continued. “We’ll just keep trying to ride like we’ve ridden up to now. We’ve been going well as a team.”

“I won’t say that I’d prefer it to be raining but maybe it would suit me,” Nibali said, before fending off another question on whether he might go on the offensive on the climb. “I don’t know, we’ll have to see in the race.”

Damiano Cunego (Nippo – Vini Fantini):

“I saw I had a chance to take the jersey yesterday and went for it; today we made sure we defended it. I’m riding well and so we’ll try to hold it as long as possible, its good for the Nippo Vini Fantini team. I know I can lose it on the toughest mountain stages but we’ll try to come up with a way of getting back if we lose it. I’ll also target stage victories later on too.”

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