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Fortune favours the brave in Perpignan

By:
Daniel Simms
Published:
July 09, 2009, 4:05 BST,
Updated:
July 09, 2009, 9:26 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Thursday, July 9, 2009
Thomas Voeckler celebrates after taking his first Tour stage.

Thomas Voeckler celebrates after taking his first Tour stage.

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Reaction from stage five

Thomas Voeckler (Bbox Bouygues Telecom) - first on stage, 138th overall @ 6:48

This is undoubtedly the most beautiful victory of my career. I have waited a really long time [for it]. I never really believed in my chances today. Firstly, the lead was quite small, and even with a successful break it was clear to me that the two Française des Jeux riders would get me in the sprint.

"Without those winds, we would have been caught and I probably wouldn't have won. Actually, I only believed in my chance when I was 300 metres from the finish." (radsport-activ.de)

Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam) - 56th on stage, 29th overall @ 2:44

"The fifth stage of this Tour was nervous from the beginning. It was open country, with narrow roads, crossing from left to right with a lot of crosswinds and headwinds. During the stage there were some splits.

"Once again I felt very protected by my teammates and we didn't have any problems, always staying at the front and in good position. We've cleared another important day of this Tour and we're getting closer and closer to the Pyrenees."

Brett Lancaster (Cervélo TestTeam) - 43rd on stage, 58th overall @ 3:28

"From the start, with the quality of guys in the break, we knew it was going to be hard to pull them back. Thor is quite happy when he's been up there in the sprints. It was a bit of a mess of a sprint, but that break stayed away in the end."

"We knew it was going to split right there at the lake where it was windy, so we did a good job keeping Carlos at the front. The team felt good today and took it easier after the team time trial. Carlos was real satisfied with how the team rode yesterday. Today we wanted to keep Carlos out of the wind."

Mark Cavendish (Columbia-HTC) - third on stage, 60th overall @ 3:33

"From the outset today, the race was very restless. Because of the wind, everyone wanted a place up front; it was a real struggle. No team wanted to pick up the pace, they all just wanted to be at the front at any price.

"At the end, several teams tried to ride the right tempo but they couldn't go to the limit. The wind thwarted all our plans, although we always had the pace. With a little more support we would have been able to make even more of it." (radsport-activ.de)

Gerald Ciolek (Team Milram) - fifth on stage, 110th overall @ 5:11

"This was not my day. First I was involved in a crash, and then 20km before the finish I had a mechanical. The wind made things difficult for all of us. Now we will look to tomorrow's stage. A sprint is expected in Barcelona and I'm feeling confident."

Linus Gerdemann (Team Milram) - 49th on stage, 45th overall @ 3:11

"I familiarised myself with where the top favourites were all day; due to the strong wind I did this in order to be near the front in case of a possible attack. Tomorrow's stage could be something for our sprinter Gerald Ciolek. Then we finally go into the mountains to Andorra."

Tony Martin (Columbia-HTC) - 31st on stage, eighth overall @ 0:52

It's great that I can continue in the white jersey and I hope I'm still in it for many more days. In the finale we have several teams trying to make the pace but the break stayed away, which wasn't expected because they spent the whole day in the wind. The danger is always when you have a group of breakaway riders who can work together. Sometimes they're strong enough to make it to the finish." (radsport-activ.de)

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