Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal):
"Chapeau to my teammates today. It was hard for them to chase down the break but they continued to work for me even if the other teams didn’t help us.
"In the sprint, I tried not to be blocked in. There was still 300 metres to go but I felt good and decided to go for it. I’m happy to have won like that.
"I think it started up with chasing the breakaway down. Jelle Vanendert kept riding with Giant-Alpecin and the other riders didn’t help. We had to gamble a little bit and in the end we used two more riders with Lars Bak and Wellens to chase the breakaway down. The others kept me up front and I tried to stay up on the final lap and Jurgen Roelandts did an amazing job from 5km to the final kilometre to keep me up there.
"For the sprint, I thought to myself, please don’t get boxed in and I went early but I thought I would give it a go. I saw the gap and I went through, and I gave everything I had in my legs.
"It was really important to stay up there in the front with a lot of corners and downhills, especially the U-turn with 1.5km to go. Jurgen Roelandts did an amazing job to keep me up there in front. Everybody slowed with about 400 metres to go and I thought if I see a gap then I’ll go through. I have good legs today and even though the team is a big part of it I think that I did a good sprint today."
"It was a really hard day, it was all up and down and it was fast with four guys in the break. Then in the final the speed was crazy.
"Tomorrow we’ve got the first uphill finish. It’s going to be a tough finish and we’ll really find out how everyone's form is. We’ll see what happens in the finale.
"It went exactly like we expected. It was a hard day, the whole day up and down but it was quite easy to control for our team. The final was… now I really know what they mean by saying sprinting in Italy is different; it was incredible. It was so chaotic and really dangerous. I actually suffered in the final but I guess everyone did.
"I can handle it but when you’re not going for a result in a sprint like this then I would have liked it to be way more calm.
"[On the tomorrow] The finish is not too hard. I am expecting not to lose too much time if I lose any."
"It was a very hard day today. There was a lot of climbing today so it wasn’t a normal sprint. I just wasn’t strong enough today, so I want to congratulate Greipel and his team. They deserved to win.
"Honestly, I don’t think today was the biggest and best chance for me. We had 800 altitude metres more than on the mountain stage yesterday, so I struggled a bit, to be honest. It was super tough. Andre is super strong and he deserved to win and from now on we are looking to the next day. I hope stage 7 is a good chance after the mountain stage tomorrow.
"A sprint is always hectic. I don’t want to say it is an Italian style of sprinting. You just have to have the strength and the team to help you stay in front. A sprint finish like this is only hectic because you have people trying to go for themselves with no support and then you have to have good legs to stay in a good position."
"Greipel deserved this win and won it well. He had a difficult spring but is going well now as we can see. My form isn’t at the very best and so I’ve got to suffer a little bit. I’m hoping thing will come around later in the Giro d’Italia."
"I saw I had a chance to take the jersey yesterday and went for it; today we made sure we defended it. I’m riding well and so we’ll try to hold it as long as possible, its good for the Nippo Vini Fantini team. I know I can lose it on the toughest mountain stages but we’ll try to come up with a way of getting back if we lose it. I’ll also target stage victories later on too."
"I’m okay despite the crash. I just slipped out on the corners and suffered some road rash. I want to let my family know that I’m okay.
"I went on the attack to give it ago. It didn’t come off this time but for sure I’ll keep trying. Unfortunately Txurruka was only five minutes down overall and so they didn’t let us open a bigger gap, otherwise we cold have tried to take them on. Not to worry. We live to fight another day."
"It has been a good day. We knew that it was a good stage for us especially as we saw that there was a chance for the bunch sprint. It was still a hard day and with a small hill in the finish it was perfect for Andre. Especially on cobblestones because you need the power. That was the only way to beat Kittel on a stage like today. We used a lot of energy but at the end it succeeded.
"Actually, we were a bit far to the breakaway with 50km to go and the downhill was really fast and the peloton stretch and then when you hit a climb immediately there was a split, and I think that was the problem for Kittel. On this final circuit, it was really short and it stretched also and it was even harder."
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