Tour de France: Stage 2 finish line quotes

Sagan, Colbrelli, Thomas and White on a fraught day at the Tour

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) – stage winner and new yellow jersey

I am really happy for today. I have to say a big thanks to all my teammates. We were in front all of the last 30k. In the end, I expected something more easy but it was really tough, up and down, with climbs and descents. I said it was better to start [the sprint] later today. Demare started with Degenkolb and I overtook them, but I was really lucky Colbrelli didn't jump me. For one day, [wearing the yellow jersey] is pretty cool. I'm very happy for that.

Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) – 2nd on the stage

Honestly, I'm a bit disappointed. I made a big effort and spent a lot of energy to make up positions but I didn't manage to get the result. I took Sagan's wheel. I wanted to anticipate him but he anticipated me. Congratulations to him. the condition is there. It's always hard but today I didn't lose by much so I'll try again in the coming stages.

Arnaud Démare (Groupama-FDJ) – 3rd on the stage

I believed because I had good legs and I launched my sprint well. I launched early with 250m to go but I didn't have much choice because I was at the front and I didn't want to drop back. Third, that's not so bad. I'm broadly satisfied. You have to take this third place the right way and build on it. I made some efforts with 25k to go after I punctured, and those were certainly superfluous extra pedal strokes. But the team was well organised and I got back on quickly even though it was sinuous, nervous and hot, with quite a few crashes.

Alexander Kristoff (Katusha-Alpecin) – 5th on the stage

I came a little bit too far back. I knew I had to move up but I didn't really have the legs to do it. I tried to come next to the other guys, but in the end I couldn't really follow. I did my best but I lack the legs a little at the moment to fight with the first three so I'm just there, fifth, but I hope the legs become stronger later on. I was hoping a bit better today because I knew the final suited me but the pace was really high. I saw the Austrian champion was first down [in the crash], he tried to take it from the inside but it was too sharp. [Eurosport]

Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) – 148th on stage after being held up in crash with 2km to go

I crashed also. I'm not sure what happened exactly. I was just going around the corner and got hit from my right side and pushed into the barrier, so my race was done. I think you just try to keep trying. It's the TDF, it's always going to be a rollercoaster, you have to keep trying. You could see I was up there, my team did a good job but unfortunately I didn't get to try.

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) – 7th overall at 15 seconds

That was the main thing, trying to stay out of trouble. it was even more nervous than yesterday. After what happened yesterday, everyone wanted to be even more far forward. It was pretty dodgy out there but fortunately we rode well as a team and stayed out of trouble. That bonus second, we were there, and nobody seemed to be going so I said, 'I'll have it then'. We were up there. Gilbert went and then nobody seemed to follow so I said I'll go then. It didn't take any effort. You're not going to turn down a second.

You don't get a proper sense of it [the final sprint], even on TV, everyone is fighting for position. The last 20km ... all the sprinters and GC guys want to stay up there. There are quite big roads and everyone is drag-racing a little bit. You have to concentrate all the time. We rode well as a team together and luckily we got through it. (Eurosport)

Matt White - Mitchelton-Scott directeur sportif

Adam [Yates] crashed earlier out with 40km to go, and Daryl [Impey] went down with 2km to go, and Luke [Durbridge] went down a little further out. They are all fine, it's not ideal but it's part of the course with the first nine days of the Tour. I think because the stages have been so easy, it culminates and builds pressure through the race. When it's windy or hard, and as this race goes on, there is less fight in the bunch. Everyone is new to this situation and willing to take risks. Adam is a tough cookie and he hasn't gotten this far in his career by letting minor little things affect him. It's not ideal to lose time, but things could certainly be worse. (Eurosport)
 

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