Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data), stage winner
“I thought I had it but you never know. I kind of knew I’d got it but you have to wait.
“We planned this stage, and I knew I’d have to come from behind. That’s why when Mark [Renshaw] went I wanted to be behind Greipel. Last year after I didn’t win the first sprint I was nervous and maybe went too soon in the following stages and I thought that might be the same for Greipel here.”
“I knew I had to come from behind. I wanted to be behind Greipel to launch my sprint. He took me by surprise, but I’m happy I did it. My teammates were phenomenal. It’s superb for Dimension Data. We came here we made our sponsors proud.”
André Greipel (Lotto Soudal)
“I think the last 6km were quite messy with a lot of corners, there wasn’t a lot of organisation. It was really hard to stay together with the team and I just tried to stay somewhere near the front. With Jurgen Roelandts, in the end he brought me into a really good position and I think I just made one mistake and it was a kind of reflex to go into the biggest gear. If I had kept it in the gear I had then I think I would have made it.
“I think maybe everybody was a bit tired after yesterday, everybody was a bit nervous because we’ve had a lot of fighting in the bunch. It was not a stage to gain any points so everybody relaxed. I didn’t think that I wished for a faster stage than today.”
Peter Sagan (Tinkoff), overall leader
“It was a long day, 220km – we did the first part very slow then the last 20km got very interesting. I’m very happy to not crash and hold the yellow jersey, which was my goal. For sure I have to try also for the points for the sprint. The finish was again crazy but that’s sprinting. Everybody wanted to be at the front – but I’m here with yellow still in one piece so that’s already nice.”
**Mark Renshaw (Dimension Data)
“It’s working well, we won two stages but it’s not perfect. We have a limited team here, only five riders including Cavendish for the finish. Everybody knows their job. We have great riders in Edvald Boasson Hagen and [Reinardt] Janse Van Rensburg, so a great team and once the ball starts rolling then it just keeps going. He’s on a high and now the team is also.”
“It was very difficult to judge. We had some tight corners and there was a crash with a couple of k to go. We knew we had to be in front, we knew we had to be coming with speed through the corner but it all worked out perfectly and he showed that he had good legs.
“We’ve taken two quick victories and that’s great but we don’t have a team like Etixx or Katusha. We don’t have guys to ride all day, especially not with that power and we have to wait until the final. I’m sure that there will be some teams who aren’t too happy with us, especially after coming through in the final kilometres and taking two victories.”
Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie)
“I’m happy that Bryan [Coquard] was third. That’s the main satisfaction – as well as the French football team’s great performance last night. Bryan is the real story as far as Direct Energie is concerned today. There’s still a long way to Paris, so there’ll be more opportunities.”
Sondre Holst Enger (IAM)
“It was fun, it was cool. It’s always nice to sprint with the big guys. I’m happy with my position. I think I can work a little bit more on the sprint. I’m an OK sprinter.”
Richie Porte (BMC)
“It’s [the stage] slow but then you know it’s going to be more hectic in the final which it was in the last 60 kilometers. It was super fast and quite dangerous but it’s another day ticked off. It’s still six hours on the bike. It’s not hard enough to be a race but you’re still not recovering. Fingers crossed that it’s a little bit faster tomorrow but each day is a day closer to the goal.”
Davide Cimolai (Lampre-Merida)
“I’m happy for the support I received from my team mates, I thank them because their work was useful. Unfortunately, I had not the right feelings, my legs lack the necessary energy in the final 3 km. Even so, I tried to achieve the best possible result, I could not enter in the top 10. Tomorrow the arrival will be more suitable for me, I’ll try to battle again agains very strong opponents”.
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC)
“Today’s stage is a different type of race, more for the sprinters. And when you only have one guy in the front it’s a bit boring and no one really wants to chase. But then the final is pretty hectic as everyone still has fresh legs, so it’s pretty hard to be up there. It’s pretty risky so I’m happy that it’s over and we’re all safe and on the same time.”
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