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Success leads to happiness, as Mark Cavendish knows well.
Even an uphill finish can't stop Cav
Marcin Sapa (Lampre) - 149th on stage, 141st overall @ 1:16:38
"When I'm in a breakaway I'm happy even if, as today, it's very tough to get amongst the action. With Van Summeren the agreement was good, but this time it [the break] was neutralised when there were a few kilometers to go".
Alberto Contador (Astana) - 43rd on stage, second overall @ 0:00:06
"It was a transition day... boring for those who saw it on television, but it was also a day with a lot of tension at the beginning. There were some complicated falls but we avoided them.
"It calmed down up to the last 20 kilometres, where the whole world wants to be ahead to avoid losing any time and the truth is that I was fearful due to the speed we passed close to the fences. The two accidents I saw were ahead of me but I had time to stop the bike.
"I feel good, though it was one more day of punishment in the legs but also one less day of suffering. At the moment I want to think of nothing more than tomorrow, which is another difficult day and which I have to ride without losing time and without any type of falls. Then I will think about the mountains, which I want to arrive already."
Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) - fifth on stage, 120th overall @ 1:04:32
"I was in good position for the sprint, but it just wasn't my day. I am very disappointed of course, and will continue to fight for the green jersey."
"I still want to fight for the green jersey. It's still a long way to Paris. It was a hard fight for [Cavendish's] wheel. It was difficult because everyone knows that is where you want to be. I will try to win another stage before this Tour is over. I will take it day-by-day."
Carlos Sastre (Cervélo TestTeam) - 63rd on stage, 16th overall @ 2:52
"Today's stage was a very fast, atypical and strange stage. There was a huge number of falls right from the outset and then the race was neutralised when one of the advertising balloons deflated, meaning that the pack split into two parts.
"It was a pretty strange race in which speeds didn't fall below 45km/h on a really tough route with constant climbs and descents and badly surfaced roads... I think these stages are not really telling us anything about this Tour de France but they are adding to the tiredness of riders in the heart of the pack in the lead up to the last week of the race.
As far as I'm concerned, I didn't have any problems today and I felt protected by my team mates again. It's a shame that we lost Thor Hushovd's green jersey but Cavendish is the world's fastest rider right now and the most important thing is that we still have the chance to win it back. We will keep fighting it out to win another stage and to get that green jersey, as well as trying for other personal aims."
Johan Van Summeren (Silence-Lotto) - 169th on stage, 109th overall @ 0:57:49
"The team was not in a good mood, I had the impression that some were growing nervous. Today's instructions were short but precise: one of us with each attack.
"After the peloton started again after a big crash, Chavanel attacked. As soon as he was caught, I jumped away on the other side of the road. Only Sapa joined me. With so far [to ride], and just having two [in the break], I knew that dreaming was useless.
I was always at top speed... it was pleasant to spend so much time at the head. I did enjoy it. An as Most Combative Rider of the Day, I had the pleasure of kissing Gert Steegmans's girl; she is an hostess with the sponsor of that challenge."
Julian Dean (Garmin-Slipstream) - 103rd on stage, 127th overall @ 1:10:38
"Today we took a different approach - I decided to wait back a little longer. Dave took me to 500 metres to go, and took me in with a heap of speed. George [Hincapie] moved off and Renshaw came over, so it took some of my speed away. But I think if that didn't happen I could have set Tyler up for the win. He has the power and I have the power - it's just about getting around the Columbia train."