Post-race quotes

David Kopp (Gerolsteiner), second "I am overjoyed, the second place in this Classic makes up for my...

David Kopp (Gerolsteiner), second

"I am overjoyed, the second place in this Classic makes up for my bad luck last Sunday on the Koppenberg. I had great legs and the fact that the team counted on me for the sprint gave me extra confidence. We had four men in the first group, my compliments on René Haselbacher, Sebastian Lang, Frank Hoj and Heinrich Haussler, who worked their tails off for me. In the end I lost by three centimetres, but on the other hand, I outsprinted Petacchi - I can be satisfied with that!"

Alessandro Petacchi (Milram), third

"I'm disappointed that I wasn't able to win this classic. My teammates gave all they had to take the break back, and then to control the counter-attacks coming from those who feared that I would beat them in the sprint. In the finale, because of the strong headwind, the race didn't get to great speed and, unfortunately, I suffer in that type of sprint. But I still think I've passed the test, as I was able to be in the front as I had planned for myself this morning. I'll be back next year, knowing that I can win here."

Bert Roesems (Davitamon-Lotto), 37th

Roesems attacked just after Michaelsen was caught. "I think he was a bit early with his attack. I sat a bit far and couldn't immediately react to his action. Maybe I also attacked too early but at the end of such a race you're no longer using your brains but using your instinct. We had three men up front that weren't able to beat men like Petacchi and Hushovd in the sprint. My attack was the only thing we could do. The conditions were alright because the road where I attacked was running slightly downhill and had good asphalt."

Lars Michaelsen (Team CSC), 47th

Michaelsen tried to break away with 15km to go, but wasn’t able to develop a sufficient gap. "I hoped another rider would join me in the escape. Beforehand I talked with Pozzato if he was interested in an attack. But apparently he had other orders [Pozzato attacked in the last km - ed.].

"It’s sad that Roesems waited until I was captured by the Milram train. In the last few kilometres I had to stop and get another wheel because Geslin rode into it." The young Frenchmen had his own feelings about the incident: Geslin came to the Dane to ask him why he made an unexpected move in front of him, as he blamed Michaelsen for producing a crash behind him.

Christian Henn (Gerolsteiner directeur sportif)

"I was satisfied with the team's performance Sunday after the Ronde van Vlaanderen - today we showed that we can now get a very good placing in the pavé races. David's performance was surely outstanding today, but the whole team was quite strong from beginning to end."

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