Nuyens' team-mate Luca Paolini was a happy man at yesterday's finish. "This is a great day for QuickStep," he said. "Last year we had stage wins with Boonen and Zanini and this year we have had my stage win, Nick's stage win, the yellow jersey and the green. It is going very well for the team.
"The first objective was to keep the jersey, but then once I got into the breakaway it was good for us because no-one was a danger in the classification after Eric Baumann [T-Mobile] dropped back. I knew I had a good chance because I can climb and I can sprint. So we took a double today - we kept the jersey and we won the stage.
"The sprint was not easy because there were a lot of turns at the end. Especially the last turn. It was really difficult and you had to take a lot of risks to win. But I wanted to win so I had to take them."
Paolini, bronze medallist at last year's world championships in Verona, said that tactics played a part in his victory. "A lot of guys tried to get away on the hills. It was better to go at a certain tempo to the top of the mountain, though. They didn't do it, so they didn't have it left at the end."
The Italian finished fourth on the previous day's stage to Blackpool, placing second in the bunch gallop behind the young Great Britain rider Mark Cavendish. He was impressed by the 20 year old.
"He is a good rider, he is really fast. He is still young and I think he has a good future."