By Brecht Decaluwé and John Trevorrow in Montpellier
Simon Gerrans (AG2r Prévoyance)
"One of the toughest days I've had on a bike ever. Along with [Christophe] Moreau, I bit the dust after 40km which put us up the creek without a paddle. Then when Astana threw down the gutter I missed the split, which wasnt a huge problem until Moreau missed the split up the front and dropped back to my group, so then we rode to the finish so he didn't lose to much time. In whole a day I'd rather forget!"
Frederik Willems on his Liquigas team's tactics
The Liquigas team tried to put their fastest man Pippo Pozzato into position for the bunch sprint, but he couldn't finish despite the Italian team's earlier success in Autun. Belgian teammate Willems explained to Cyclingnews the team tactics for the stage. "[Robert] Hunter is obviously very quick, and he also had a lot of teammates in the group and he could put them in front. We decided that we would only work in the finale, but in the end we just missed out for the win. Maybe the finale had to be a little harder for us to succeed. Anyway, we tried but you can't be among the winners every time."
Team CSC's Brian Nygaard
In response to Cyclingnews' question about David Zabriske's travel plans after he finished outside the time cut, Nygaard said, "We are sorry to see him go. He'll be missed. He never really found his legs in this Tour and his left knee is troubling him. He helped the team a lot in the first week. He's travelling home as we speak."
French Tour legend Bernard Hinault
Hinault is always glad to give his personal view on the French riders in the Tour de France, and today he was asked if he felt that Christophe Moreau was out of contention for the overall win.
"I think there's only one option left for him and that is attacking like he did in the Dauphiné," Hinault advised his compatriot. The five-time Tour de France winner felt the Ag2r team could have avoided the incident. "I don't think Astana exploited his medical treatment. I think it took too long before he was brought back to the front by his team, and there weren't too many teammates around him. You need to be attentive because everybody thought nothing would happen but it a lot of things happened," the blaireau commented on the disastrous day of the French champion.