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Pre-race chatter

The talk of the town was of course the big crash at the end of stage two into Gent. After their losses were counted several riders commented on the previous day's activities before they were heading off to stage three.

Cadel Evans, who's main interest is to contend for the top spots in Paris, told Cyclingnews' John Trevorrow that it is important to "stay out of trouble, same [like] every year. The Tour's first week - that is how it goes." In those dangerous conditions Evans just hopes that "there is no crash." His main focus is on "staying out of trouble and staying safe; not expending energy."

Evans relies on his teammates for comfort. "I got my guys, Dario [Cioni], Mario [Aerts], Fred [Rodriguez]. They stay all around me and make sure I am all right and keep me in good position near the front."

Asked if he worries about any stages before the Alps, when the race really begins for him, the Australian reveals that "no, for me it's the same every year. The big mountain stages and the time trials, that's always where the classification is made. The rest is all right, well, as long as you don't lose any time."

Michael Rodgers of T-Mobile found that yesterday was "a pretty calm stage really. I was a bit nervous before the start, but for me personally, compared to previous years, these [early stages] haven’t been hard for me." He wasn't quite sure about his knee yet, acknowledging that "It's hard to tell, really. There are no problems at the moment, it's when we get to the hard stages that we will find out."

Simon Gerrans reckons that "every guy had instructions from his team boss to get up the front. It's like a washing machine in there. As quick as you get yourself to the front you get shuffled down the back and have to do it all again."

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