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Reactions from the Tour's first stage

By:
Cycling News
Published:
July 05, 2010, 3:08 BST,
Updated:
July 05, 2010, 7:33 BST
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, July 5, 2010
Race:
Tour de France, Stage 1
Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) lets out his emotions after winning the sprint

Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) lets out his emotions after winning the sprint

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Wind, crowds, crashes and the return of an old name

Ivan Basso (Liquigas-Doimo) - 91st on stage, 70th overall @ 55 seconds: "I hit my right knee, causing an abrasion and a bruise. In the heat of the incident it didn't appear to cause me any particular concern, even though the patella is a delicate spot: I hope I won't suffer discomfort in the coming days.

Falling is never pleasant, especially after two days of racing, but I'll remain calm. The streets and the other heights of racing are two difficulties that I had highlighted in these early stages; we hope we won't race through other risks in the coming days."

Adam Hansen (HTC-Columbia) - 190th on stage, abandoned due to crash: "I'm extremely disappointed. I was really looking forward to this tour and I'm upset now that they have to continue with only eight riders.

"It was one of those freak crashes. I briefly saw something on the road before I hit it and my bike skid across the field. Most riders managed to avoid me but at the last second I hit the back wheel of another rider and went down."

Thor Hushovd (Cervélo TestTeam) - third on stage, 153rd overall @ 1:19: "Everyone wants to stay at the front, whether or not you're a sprinter.

"The roads were very narrow, that's why there were a lot of crashes, but I was able to avoid them and I was still third, so it was OK. It was hard, really hard. I am up there for the green jersey, so I am happy."

Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-Farnese Vini) - stage winner, 38th overall @ 48 seconds: "I'm back at Tour de France and immediately I win a stage: I couldn't ask for more!

"I want to thank my team mates that performed outstanding in my support on this stage. I knew I was good because yesterday I had good feelings in the prologue, so I decided to start the sprint early despite the wind. This victory is for all the team sponsors."

Brett Lancaster (Cervélo TestTeam) - 26th on stage, 40th overall @ 49 seconds: "We pushed a lot of wind today and we did a good job to keep Thor out of the wind all day.

"We got through the first crash, but unfortunately, Thor got off my wheel on the sprint. I kept going and I thought for a minute I might of kept it for myself. Thor is in the points, so that’s good.

"It's always nervous in the first day of the Tour. It takes five or six days to sort itself out. The first week is always chaotic."

Robbie McEwen (Team Katusha) - fourth on stage, 108th overall @ 1:06: "This morning I said the finale was dangerous and unfortunately I was right.

"In the finale someone hit my rear wheel with 350 metres to go and I lost precious time. What a pity. There were my family and I wanted to do better."

Alberto Contador (Team Astana) - 48th on stage, sixth overall @ 27 seconds: "There were several crashes at the end of the stage and that of Fabian Cancellara was right behind me and I didn't have time to brake. I hit with those who had already fallen, but I'm more or less happy. I have a big blow on my left leg, but nothing serious.

"Today wasn't a really dangerous day, but we are in the best race in the world and to win a stage here is something that very few people can do. Everyone goes to the maximum and at the end [of the day] these things happen."

Daniel Lloyd (Cervélo TestTeam) - 72nd on stage, 173rd overall @ 1:23: "This is my first Tour de France, but the first stages are always nervous. Everyone's fresh and wants to be at the front. The sprinter teams are there, the GC riders want to be up front.

"The riders at the Tour ride one centimetre or two closer to each other and they don't give way like they do at other races. I didn't see the crashes, but I was behind the one that caught Farrar."

Alan Pérez (Euskaltel-Euskadi) - 189th on stage, 194th overall @ 5:07: "I've 'bent my back' this past year and kicked off the Tour with a good start. We escaped on the climb; even in the neutralised zone Lars Boom gave me a look as if to say, 'What, we're starting?' So I was watching him and I stayed glued to his wheel. He launched a huge attack and I could hardly stay on the wheel...

We had a good understanding and when you enter a break, you always have hopes of achieving a goal, you pedal with that illusion. We didn't have any luck and the peloton caught us - this is the Tour and the wins are very expensive.

But I'm pleased that I got in the break. The team has come to the Tour [feeling] very well, both in Dauphiné and in Switzerland we were before and what happened yesterday is not a reflection of how we are. As for the finale, the road was a bit slippery and there have been many falls."

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