Tour de France: Stage 3 finish line quotes

Van Avermaet, Froome, Thomas, Porte, Phinney, van Garderen

Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) - New overall leader

"A team time trial is always something special. The whole team does the effort for one goal in winning the stage and I think that our team are masters in it. I’m really happy to be a part of it.

"It’s a big goal to get yellow in the first week. I wore it once before and it was an incredible feeling to wear it. I’ve got it for a second time, and I’m going to enjoy it fully tomorrow. For a rider, it’s something special. I want to thank my teammates, because without them it wouldn’t have happened."

Chris Froome (Team Sky) 

"I think it's still a few more teams to come in, we have to wait and see what the results say at the end of the day. Just going on feeling how we rode that, I think we can be pretty happy. I think we gave it everything we had, and it pretty much went to plan. You can never tell who's going to be on a good day and who's not. All in all I think it worked out really well for us.

"Obviously, it didn't start too well with the crash on stage 1, but that's bike racing. There is still a lot of racing to come, we're just taking it one day at a time at the moment. Just trying to get through the best we can until we get to the mountains.

"That's reassuring [gained back time lost] - It would have been nice not to lose it in the first place. I think there will be a lot more time lost throughout the GC group before we hit the mountains. One day you gain, one day you lose, that's the nature of the game.

"I'm feeling fine after the crash, thankfully it was a soft landing in the field, not like in Jerusalem."

Richie Porte (BMC Racing) 

"It's not a bad thing for a team that's looking for a sponsor to have the yellow jersey. It doesn't guarantee a spot in front of the peloton either. We're taking some time back on some of the other GC guys. It's still a long way to go, six more hectic days and the the mountains.

"Obviously it was a tough one today, but the big strong guys did a great job and it was a perfect team time trial.

"It puts us right back in the game. It would have been nice not to have thrown 51 seconds away on the first day. To win with these guys is a great feeling.

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky)

"Altogether we rode well, especially with - there was a lot going on there, even though there weren’t many corners, there was changes in direction with the wind, climbs and descents and everything. I think we rode decent.

"There are always changes in direction, and it was a bit gusty. Obviously it’s not just one gradient, either. You’re having to really change your turns depending on where you are on the course. It certainly favours the teams that can ride well technically, and that are quite even as well.

"It was decent for us, but it’s a bit frustrating because I felt like I could have had a bit more in the tank by the end.

"Every TTT I’ve done, we’ve always been there or thereabouts. Obviously there have been a few in the Grand Tours where we’ve been a bit less than you’d expect, but in the Tour we’ve always been top three.

"To be honest, I didn’t even think about it. It was all about trying to win the stage, and that would have been a nice bonus on top of it. We really wanted to try and get that stage today because we’ve been close in the past in Tour TTTs. Close, but not quite quick enough.

"It was nice to gain a bit of time on everyone else.

"There’s another sprint day tomorrow so it’s back to fighting for every inch of the road again, then two pretty solid days - not massive days like in the Alps, but still enough to hurt the legs for sure. It will still be tough.

"We’re only a few seconds to Richie, and hopefully we gain a bit of time on everyone else.

"We knew it was OK to lose Luke and Wout, we didn’t plan where - we knew it’s fourth guy over the line. If they could just go as long as they could - if they didn’t feel great, just to commit anyway and do it all for the team, which is what they did."

Taylor Phinney (EF Education First-Drapac) - on teammate Lawson Craddock

"He was struggling a lot with the corners when we did the recon because he couldn’t get out of the saddle. To do a TTT at that speed and be able to hang on and push through, he’s shown us all a lot of character. He had a rough year last year, and a lot of teams wrote him off, and he’s worked really hard to come back especially to this race. This sport tests you in really difficult ways, and to crash like that on the first stage and then push through shows that he really wants it. It gives us a lot of motivation to push through any pain we might be having.

"We feel great about (the TTT), in the past we usually lose about a minute, minute and a half in the TTT. We worked really hard before this race and everybody was just committed. I went pretty deep - to lose 35 seconds, considering what happened on the first stage - we’re really happy with how today went. Small victory. (NBC)

Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing)

"It was a little nerve wracking. We knew we executed well, but having to wait in the hot seat, watching teams come by and Quick-Step kind of put us on edge a little bit there.  

"I ws pretty confident. With the preparation we do for this event, the riders we have and just the attention to detail. We went out there we handled our business, and I think when we crossed the line we knew it would be hard to beat that time." (NBC)

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