Giro d'Italia: Stage 4 finish line quotes

Jan Polanc (Team UAE Emirates) - Stage winner

"Today probably nobody expected the breakaway to get to the finish because we didn't have a big gap for the last climb. We were only four all day so it was very difficult. But I'm very happy – after 2015, to repeat a victory on the first mountain stage is incredible to me.

"The climb was quite difficult because it was a constant headwind. So it was difficult after a long breakaway today. Probably the hardest day of my life."

Bob Jungels (Quick-Step Floors) - New race leader

"Something like this is always a dream. To really believe it happened... it is something you have to be a little bit lucky [to get]. I think the team did a fantastic job. At the end I was just hanging on until the final. I was waiting, waiting, waiting. It was perfect in the end.

[On how long he can keep the pink jersey] I think Sunday is a very hard stage to Blockhaus – it's a little different climb from today, it's more steep and for the riders like Quintana – the real climbers. I don't know, we'll see and then we have a rest day and a long time trial. I think we are in a good way."

Winner Anacona (Movistar Team)

"We had lots of riders taking their roles seriously and we were able to mark things well – nothing got out of control. We knew we had to stay with the main favourites and keep pace with them. They look pretty strong, there was a big group of very good riders there, and as a consequence we've learned everyone has come here in great form and it's difficult to know how things are going to go."

Rui Costa (Team UAE Emirates)

"We had a good rest day and made a good plan for today – to get two riders into the break. Although we didn't manage that, we knew this stage to the top of Etna very well, and it's really good for the team to get this result today.

"We've got a strong group of riders there at a similar level, so it's going to be a fascinating battle over the next few weeks."

Tejay van Garderen (BMC Racing)

"It was quite a quick day, with a stiff tailwind in the beginning. A good break got away and we didn't go too hard up Portella Fammina Morta. But then it was really nervous in lead-in to Etna, lots of towns, cobblestones, and narrow streets – Italian style. The climb to Etna was hard but there was a stiff headwind in the final so a lot of moves were cancelled out. People's legs were a bit too fresh, maybe, so we're going to have to wait until later to see some big action, but I'm kind of starting to get a sense, going by facial expressions and body language, how the rivals are.

[On the GC significance of the stage] "Not much, I think most guys finished on the same time. Bob [Jungels] is a good rider, he'll be happy to keep pink maybe through the time trial, but once we hit that third week it's a different ball game."

Dario Cioni (Team Sky sport director)

"I said this morning the big goal was not to lose time. We knew with the headwind on the final climb it would end up quite a tactical race, where it would be difficult to see big gaps. Taking bonus seconds is something we spoke about – racing smart to save that bit of energy to get bonuses. Today we had Geraint and Landa in the front group, even if it wasn't easy with mechanical issues, including one for Mikel, but luckily it wasn't in the final and he made it back.

"We spoke about it, and on a climb like this if it's a relatively big group, with a headwind, it's hard to ride away, so it made sense to save something for bonuses. Zakarin went off earlier, so it would have been better to get six seconds, but four is good also."


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