Hectic finale disrupts plans in Brignoles

Thor Hushovd (Cervelo Test Team) - fourth on stage, 120th overall @ 2:02

"We had our strategy for the sprint to come from behind the Columbia train. They were very strong again today and we decided to wait until the final kilometres. There was a crash and we lost each other. Some of us went left, others had to brake. The crash lost us everything in the end."

"Tomorrow is another day and we will try. It's very warm, but it was OK for me. I prefer when it's 15C cooler, but I had to fight through it."

Gerald Ciolek (Team Milram) - sixth on stage, 150th overall @ 2:22

"During the Tour, unfortunately it is often the case that one of the sprinters tries to ride through a gap that doesn't actually exist. This lead to a fall about 500 metres from the finish today."

"We [the Milram team] gathered in the final part [of the stage] in an excellent manner and the we were prepared for the sprint. It is really unfortunate because we worked very well as a team, but we were not rewarded."

Hayden Roulston (Cervelo Test Team) - 52nd on stage, 111th overall @ 1:57

"It was pretty hectic in the finale, but that's normal. It's the first sprint in the Tour and everyone wants to be at the front. Everyone is fresh, they have a lot of power, but there were some people taking some unnecessary risks. You don't have to risk your life. There was a crash in the end and we lost our position,"

José Joaquín Rojas (Caisse d'Epargne) - 18th on stage, 86th overall @ 1:47

"I feel very well and I intended to take part in the sprint. The weather is really hot and I am used to that because in Murcia, where I live, it is just the same. I was well placed in Tom Boonen and Oscar Freire's wheel but in the last curve to avoid a crash we were obliged to enter the [team] car's route deviation. It was too late then to come back in front of the bunch."

"This is my first Tour and I wished to fight with the best riders because the level is really high here. I will try again in the next stages and it will be very important to take advantage of every opportunity."

Jussi Veikkanen (Française des Jeux) - 168th on stage, 51st overall @ 1:30 (mountains classification leader)

"I've been rewarded for a long day. It was hard and I was quite lucky. I was only a few points ahead of Tony Martin and I'm not sure I'll have the jersey for very long. A day in one of the jerseys of the Tour de France is really great for me - I live about 20 kilometres away from Brignoles, so I know all the streets here, and perhaps that made the difference."

Stef Clement (Rabobank) - 125th on stage, 46th overall @ 1:28

"We knew that it would be a difficult day for everyone - for the break and also for the field. I would have preferred a slightly larger group. If there are only four you just ride and hope. At 50km before the finish we had an advantage of 5:20, but with a stage profile like today, it was almost impossible to keep this advantage. We worked well together and in the end I think everyone [in the break] got what they deserved; we're all satisfied. "

Heinrich Haussler (Cervelo Test Team) - 15th on stage, 48th overall @ 1:29

"There were six riders clear and I had to pull Thor up there, but it was a bit unlucky today. Tomorrow is another chance. It was brutal heat out there. I couldn't get enough drinks down. I was getting goose bumps with so much heat. I was almost feeling cold."

Tom Boonen (Quick Step) - 174th on stage, 114th overall @ 1:58

"The first real stage of the Tour is always extremely hectic. Early in the race there were a few falls and again in the last kilometre. The extreme heat can quickly affect your concentration and make it easier to make a mistake. In the end I had to take another road to avoid some riders and it was anything but good. It was kind of a funny situation... Unfortunately it was also a missed opportunity."

Carlos Sastre (Cervelo Test Team) - 103rd on stage, 21st overall @ 1:06

"Today's stage was hard, taxing, with a lot of heat and temperatures of 42C. I was well-protected by my teammates and I didn't suffer any sort of setback or lose time, which is the most important aspect. The most important thing in days like these is to rest, recover well and, until the next challenge, which is the team time trial, not lose any options."

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