Giro d'Italia: Stage 2 finish line quotes

Six hours in the saddle as sprinters fight for the maglia rosa

André Greipel (Lotto Soudal)

"This is a really good one of course. It wasn't an easy day of course. It was six hours on the bike and the headwind played into our hands that a bunch sprint would happen. That happened on the last climb, otherwise there would have been some attacks. I’m really proud of my teammates who supported me today in this stage win. This win and the pink jersey is for them and also for my mother."

"We didn't really count on a sprint today but obviously we had a plan. We hoped a small group would escape from the bunch and that Bora would control the gap, and they did. The pace on the long climb was doable. I expected more attacks from the better descenders in the bunch, but the headwind on the climb and in the finale played in the advantage of the sprinters."

"In the descent it was important to stay focused and not to be surprised by splits in the peloton. In the finale I pushed myself forward and with the support of my teammates I reached the front of the bunch. We got an unexpected opportunity to sprint again. Just like yesterday, at four and a half kilometres from the finish, there was a crucial point with small and twisty roads. It was key to be at the front of the bunch and we were. Jasper De Buyst pulled the sprint well, but I felt I would end up too early in front, so I let Mezgec in between. I ended up winning the stage and this was an amazing feeling."

Lars Bak (Lotto Soudal)

"It was a really long day with the headwind but it was a happy ending in the end. It was really controlled. Bora did an amazing job and then we did a really good leadout in the end. We take the win and now Andre is back on the winning track again."

Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott)

"I don't know if it was Greipel or Gaviria that I kind of bumped into, but when I bumped into them my foot came out of the pedal.

"Obviously at that point in the race, it's going to pretty hard to get your foot back in and be sprinting again. I'm devastated to be honest."

"If I can take something out of the last two days, it is my form, I've felt really good."

Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe)

"We decided to try again something on the last kilometers if possible. Rudi [Selig] delivered me perfectly on the last kilometre, but the pace was already too high to go again. Lotto-Soudal did a perfect leadout and I tried to go Greipels wheel then. But I didn't have the legs or speed to challenge him in the end. It was a wonderful day in pink here in the 100th edition of the Giro. Now I still have the white jersey, for me that's perfect and I think we can be satisfied."

Christian Pömer (Bora-Hansgrohe sport director)

"After the great success yesterday, we wanted to keep on fighting. We planned to go for Sam [Bennett] and also to defend the maglia rosa but unfortunately Sam felt not good today. However, I am so proud of the whole team like I was also yesterday. They all did a fantastic job, they were the whole day in front of the peloton and in the final they supported Lukas very well to defend the maglia rosa. Through the great job which the boys did, we were able to keep the white jersey, which makes me really proud!"

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