Robbie McEwen (Australia, 30th place) was a top favourite for many people, but he couldn't catch the final group who made the sprint. "It was hard enough in the end," said McEwen. "I was okay, but I couldn't follow the group the last time on the climb. That small front group, they were just in front of us! But there was nobody to ride [to help in the chase]."
The U-turn nicknamed the "McEwen corner" was changed last Friday by the organisation, so we asked him if that affected his chances. "No, because you see the group split. There was a group of 25 or something ahead, so it didn't make any difference," he said
Juan Antonio Flecha (Spain, 56th place) was very happy with Alejandro Valverde's silver medal. "The truth is that Alejandro has been phenomenal," said Flecha. "It wasn't easy to beat Boonen, but I think Valverde has surprised everyone. They had said it wasn't hard, but in the end it was hard, especially the last climb; the racing developed as we thought, with a breakaway in the end." Flecha also had some kind words for Spanish coach "Paco" Antequera: "He is a magnificent coach. He knows how to read the race very well."
Aurélien Clerc (Switzerland, 33rd place) also gave his view of the race. "It was not very fast," said Clerc. "It was hard because of the small hill and in the finale, all the strong men rode in the first group and in the final sprint there were 20 or 30. It was a good race for me; I've done the maximum [I could]."