Giro d'Italia: Stage 4 finish line quotes

'It was the hardest stage so far' says maglia rosa Dennis

Rohan Dennis (BMC Racing) - Overall leader at the Giro d'Italia

"It's great to keep the jersey for a bit longer. The guys did everything possible to put me in the right position. Then I had [Alessandro] De Marchi and Nico Roche for the finale if I got into trouble. There was a little bit of stress but not too much.

"Everyone knows it's pretty common I've lost it [the leader's jersey] after one day in every other Grand Tour [the Tour de France and Vuelta a España]. Now I've kept it for two days. It's all thanks to my teammates - they've been great around me." (To RAI)

"It was the hardest stage so far. It's never easy riding in Sicily but to race here is a whole other level.

"The next days are going to be hard, like today. Tomorrow is a bit more like today, then Etna will be a bit of a test for the GC guys on a mountain to see where everyone's at, so it’ll be interesting to see where I’m at compared to the other guys." (Eurosport)

Tim Wellens (Lotto Fix All) - Stage 4 winner

"It was turny and twisting all day, it was not so easy. In the end, my teammates took me perfectly to the front. Adam [Hansen] did a really long pull and then Tosh [Van der Sande] was pulling and it was splitting behind us. I had to be careful not to go too soon because I knew it was still far out. I had a little advantage and so could start the climb easy, then I went full gas at 200 metres." (RAI)

"This feels much more special [than breakaway stage win at 2016 Giro] because until the last 150 metres I was not sure of winning, so then when you pass over the finish line it feels so good." (Eurosport)

Michael Woods (EF Education First-Drapac) - second on the day

"I really wanted it today but Wellens was just the stronger guy. I got split off at the bottom but managed to catch back up. I felt great today, I had everyone helping me on this team - Tom Van Asbroeck was amazing - but Wellens was just the better man.

"I wanted to win. Yeah it was great, but I wanted to win." (Eurosport)

Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Fix All) - Tim Wellens' teammate

"This means a lot. He was already focused on this stage before we came here, and the way we did it is just unbelievable. He's one of the best in the world for such a finish, and I'm glad I could be a part of it.

"It was clear from the beginning, he said he had good legs, so we put riders to pull. Then in the end we said if we could take the lead we'd take the lead. Then there was a little gap and when they have to close it already it's a big advantage." (Eurosport)

Enrico Battaglin (LottoNL-Jumbo) - Third place in stage 4

"I was really close to victory, but this is racing. I tried to close the gap and the feeling was ok. I did my best to take the victory, but it wasn't enough." 

Chris Froome (Team Sky) – lost 21 seconds and now 20th in GC at 55 seconds

"I lost position in the in final kilometre and so wasn’t well placed coming into the final kick.

"But I’m feeling better and better after the crash. It was a hard, nervous stage. It was up and down all day. But I’m just happy to get through the day without any major problems.

"I lost some seconds, but that’s racing. I crashed on the first day and I’m feeling better every day. We’re going to take it day by day and do as well as we can."

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