Tour de France stage 4 finish line quotes

Kittel, Coquard, Cavendish, Sagan, Froome, Martin, Keisse, Stuyven and more

Marcel Kittel (Etixx-QuickStep) - Stage winner

"I feel very emotional right now – it feels like my first stage win again. I’m super happy. I’m very proud because the team was really fighting for this win. Things went wrong in the last days and I’m so happy to be back in the Tour and to win a stage like this. I can’t believe it."

Bryan Coquard (Direct Energie) - second place

"I really believed in my chances. Jimmy (Engoulvent) yesterday reproached me not to have thrown my bike forward enough. I could see I was making it back but it was not enough. I'm very disappointed but I must not give up. There are still lots of chances left. I'm glad that we took things into our own hands. There is no mistake in the sprints, the strongest wins. I was never as close to victory but I haven't won yet. I'm young but I'm a winner. I have temperament and I want to win this year on the Tour."

Iljo Keisse (Etixx-Quickstep)

"First of all, it started with a little uphill before, where Marcel and I kind of lost a few places, we kind of lost train and had to fight for 5-6km to get back into position. In the end everything came back together. It was me and Marcel, then Max and Sabatini came all in the last kilometer, perfect timing, a little bit lucky but I guess that's what you need.

"I saw it was really close but we're really happy to have won today. And now the pressure can go a little bit because we started well with two second places, but we needed victories.

"It was the same yesterday, you have a small descent then a climb. Always the teams from behind are coming. It's very difficult in the front to keep the front, and if you are in the back you have to avoid the guys going backwards. It was difficult but it all worked out very well today.

"Yesterday was frustrating for the whole team, especially for myself, because the train didn't work. We all were too early, it started with myself - I started too early, Tony came too early, everyone came too early, and Marcel there was boxed in at the end. It was very annoying because he had diamond legs. Today we had to work things out perfectly and to show his diamond legs to the world and win the stage."

Mark Cavendish (Dimension Data)

"I was kind of in the wrong position. It was a bit sketchy – with 5km to go I nearly crashed and I lost my leadout. Then I didn’t want to hit it too early. I thought I’d be on Kittel’s wheel, but the next thing it was about survival, trying to dodge people going backwards, all the leadout men. It wasn’t about concentrating on sprint but dodging riders.

"You have to get everything right, it’s not just you against one other person, but nearly 200. That’s what it is, and I didn’t get it right today."

Chris Froome (Team Sky)

On GC riders mixing it up in the front during sprints:

"I think it’s one for the UCI and the unions to discuss. Certainly there’s room for discussion around the point. My suggestion would be to do away with the one-second rule for the gaps, because that’s why all the GC guys are up there; we’re doing our jobs. If we’re not there racing for those splits we’re not doing our jobs properly, so of course we’re up there with the sprinters.

"It does make for a lot of stress. We don’t want to be up there. We want the sprinters to do their thing and not be up there in their way. But when Tour can be won or lost by seconds we’ve got to be up there fighting for those seconds. So my suggestion would be to maybe do away with the one-second rule. Make it a five second rule so that the splits aren’t so easy to come by and it’s a bit more relaxed coming into the final."

On Riders taking big risks:

"That’s the nature of our sport. When so much is at stake – a stage win in the Tour means so much to so many people – guys are going to put their bodies on the line for that."

Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep)

"He’s already had a really strong season with a lot of victories, so we will have a nice celebration tonight and I hope a few more victories."

Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) - overall leader

"I can’t complain, I’m happy, I’m still in yellow, I was third, so more points for the green jersey, It’s good. It was nearly 250km with the neutral zone but it wasn’t difficult thanks to the tailwind – it was fine today.

"A sprint is like a lottery. I have to wait a bit more in the final because I start ed at the same time as Kittel. Coquard was more patient and he almost won. I’m happy for the points, for the yellow jersey, and for me things are going very well."

Jasper Stuyven (Trek-Segafredo) – mountains jersey

"It was a good day. I was happy that the speed was a little higher than yesterday. It was a actually a race today with a good final. So not too hard. It was a good race day, nothing special, and a hectic final again.

"I think I won’t be here tomorrow. You never know, but it’s not my biggest goal to spend all my energy just to maybe keep it another day, because after is another hard day with a lot of points to get, so we’ll see. I have enjoyed the three days, with tomorrow, then we’ll see what will happen next in this Tour.

"I just hope to keep the good legs and chase a stage win. We’re getting close to it. It’s not easy but I’ll try."

Bernhard Eisel (Dimension Data):

"It was a good day. In the start we were a bit scared that it would be a really, really long day where nobody attacks. In the end, it was a rolling day, not easy, it was up and down and that takes energy. But the sun is out now and there were no major crashes today or tumbles, at least our team stayed upright. We didn’t get the result that we wished for, but it was a good day.

"Tomorrow is hillier and I hope the sun comes out and stays out. Tomorrow will definitely be a harder day than today. It could be a breakaway day. I’m not sure that Tinkoff will control the race to keep yellow for [Peter] Sagan. Their goal is with Alberto [Contador] and there is a long way to go."

Sylvain Chavanel (Direct Energie)

"We’re disappointed for Bryan and for the team, but Bryan has shown in the last two days that he belongs among the best sprinters in the world, and there are still chances for him to get a stage victory."

Mark Renshaw (Dimension Data)

"It was difficult to judge with the downhill. Cavendish lost us with a couple km to go in some of those fast corners, then he started probably too far back. But we’ve had a good start. We didn’t win today but there will be more opportunities.

"We’ve done a good job with just a few guys to help. It’s not like the past, so I think we’ve done a good job and it shows we’ve got confidence in each other."

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