Reaction from stage three

Less stress and more sun on the road to Venlo

Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne) - 119th on stage, 12th overall @ 0:00:18

"Except the fact that the sun kept on shining the entire day, the stage of today had nothing to do with the one of yesterday. We can indeed say that it was an easy day."

"The roads were broader ones and not so risky. But I anyway preferred to stay during almost all the time between the first positions of the bunch to remain concentrated, exactly the way I did it yesterday."

"I just dropped in the very last kilometres to give the sprinters space."

"After three days without climbing not even a small hill, the stage of tomorrow will be a little bit different. Even if it is true that the stage will finish in Liège, the final of the stage will have absolutely nothing to do with the classics. It will just look a little bit like the Amstel, if we take into account the fact that the Cauberg is on the program. This means that we will again have to ride on narrow streets and that it will be important to remain careful till the end."

Roger Hammond (Cervélo TestTeam) - seventh on stage, 26th overall @ 0:00:24

"Until the roundabout with 1.5km to go, it was absolutely perfect, with Greipel on the wheel of the High Road train, Boonen, then me. On that last corner, Bozic and Marcato came through. Bozic made it, but Marcato was absolutely useless; he chopped, couldn't hold the wheel, then Boonen and I had to close the gap with 800 metres to go. We had already done our sprint with 500 metres, and then everyone else started.

"I wasn't really thinking about today's stage, because yesterday's stage was quite hard in the final 40km and that strings it out a little bit more and it's selective before the final sprint. Today there was a lot of headwind, so everybody thinks they can be a winner. With a headwind like that, everyone keeps coming past, so you use so much energy in the final 20km just passing climbers who are trying not to lose GC time.

"Today was no problem seeing the finish line. There were no bridges over the road today. I saw it far away, but it was coming too fast, that was the problem."

Ezequiel Mosquera (Xacobeo Galicia) - 45th on stage, 62nd overall @ 0:00:33

"I enjoyed the third stage of the Tour of Spain. Fortunately it was a calmer day than yesterday. It gave us more time to enjoy the road and the nice environment we were riding through after so much tension [the previous day].

"Although this peace is going to be short because tomorrow, with the arrival in Liège, comes the nervousness. This day will be very dangerous with the addition of the bad weather that is expected.

"Apart from a gentle wind that made us be attentive to possible cuts alarms, the second stage of the Vuelta was quiet until things started to get organised for the sprint. I ensured, like yesterday, that I was always well placed at the front of the pack until the teams have their fastest men ahead before the finish and, once the race was in the last metres I dropped from those top positions.

"There was a period of tension because the sprint was a bit chaotic, while the large group was stretched out far and it seemed that there would be a split. This didn't happen and we finally finished another day, the kind that, even if it doesn't appear so, are very important for the nerves of the early days - much more so due to the narrow roads we are riding on during these days in Holland.

"I cannot wait to return to Spain, to the warm temperatures, but first we have to pass the stage tomorrow; undoubtedly it's the most dangerous of all that we've had so far. A day where we will be very attentive from beginning to end."

Simon Gerrans (Cervélo TestTeam) - 135th on stage, 113th overall @ 0:00:53

"The day into Liège is quite hard, but the last climb is still 20km from the finish, so I think it will still be a sprint. We're seeing guys like Tyler Farrar and Tom Boonen, those guys are going really well right now, so I think those guys will be there in the end to make the sprint."

David Garcia (Xacobeo Galicia) - 73rd on stage, 10th overall @ 0:00:18

"I didn't expect at this point in race to be among the top 10 in the overall standings but it's a consequence of the bonuses I got in the second stage after getting in a breakaway. He saw the fact that I went out to attack, thinking it was going to before but started to open hole and, obviously, I did not stop, "he began.

Marin rider has its priorities in the Spanish round: "The tenth it remains anecdotal, because my goal is to win a stage and if you ever need to lose twenty minutes, after doing work for Ezekiel, I will not hesitate losing. For general have to Ezekiel. I was the fourteenth year, but more must be now tenth or eleventh motivates me a triumph of stage, "he said then.

"The atmosphere surrounding these stages strikes me. The people here really love cycling. I was surprised with what I saw in the Giro, but I think this even surpasses it. The day was calm, although, as always in this type of land, the final kilometres are tense

"My feelings are good, but it's not like anything I've really done before. We've had three days without lifting our butts off the saddle for a moment and, while it may seem odd, it hurts. I'm not used to riding two hundred miles sitting, without changing position and while pedaling for a second. I'm looking forward to a hill to test myself out a little."
 

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