Pre-stage quotes

By John Trevorrow in Challans

Matt White (Cofidis)

CN: You have finally got that first stage of a Tour de France under your belt, but I did have a chuckle when you were the only rider to walk up the start ramp.

MW: "I wasn't taking any risks, it looked pretty steep. But it's great to finally get into it. I am sure it will be a bit stressful out there today with 200 riders all with first day nerves.

"I really am pretty relaxed about it all, I just needed to get that start out of the way. It was pretty cool to see the time-keeper hold out that last finger and get it all under way.

"I reckon it's going to be a hot one. Europe has had a pretty nast winter and the predictions are that we will be in for a few scorchers, especially as we head towards Germany."

Baden Cooke (Française Des Jeux)

CN: How was the prologue?

BC: "I was pretty happy with how it went. I felt good and didn't have to dig too deep. I was surprised at some of the time gaps. I reckon there might have been some riders who got a lot better wind conditions. Although there were times in the middle that would have had an advantage with the wind, I was a little bit disappointed with Brad's ride but he was happy with how he felt only he was surprised at his deficit.

"Yesterday I was quite relaxed but I am getting a bit more nervous about today. The first road stage is always hectic. Everyone wants to be up the front and it will be dangerous. There will be lots of crashes and I will just hopefully stay out of trouble, stay up the front and cross the line first."

It is a shame they have changed the rules on wearing helmets as it would be great for the fans to see that hairstyle?

"It probably wouldn't stand up in the wind anyway."

Simon Gerrans (Ag2r-Prevoyance)

CN: How are you settling in for your first Tour?

SG: "Guess I am a little bit nervous. The first day is always supposed to be a bit frantic and the field races very nervously. Today we are going through a lot of little towns and that sought of thing. I didn't do a great time yesterday but I didn't expect to. The legs feel good and I'm ready for today."

Mick Rogers (Quick.Step)

CN: How have you come up after yesterday?

MR: "I just had a really bad day. I just couldn't get on top of things and I'm really disappointed. But at the end of the day the 1.53 that I lost won't have too big an impact on the final classification.

"When I analyze the race I'm only a minute from third so that's not too bad. It's just that them two went very quick but that's life. It can all change in the first day in the Alps. Maybe my time trialling is down but I am climbing is definitely improved."

Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto)

CN: Are you happy with your first Tour de France stage?

CE: "Yeah, it wasn't a great ride yesterday but it wasn't too bad either. I feel like I'm coming better all the time so I am actually pretty happy at this stage. I was pretty surprised at just how passionate the fans are, wanting autographs and such."

How good where the top two?

"Incredible, incredible, incredible."

What is the plan for today?

"Stay out of trouble, don't waste any energy and hope for the best for Robbie!"

Brad McGee (Française Des Jeux)

CN: First day didn't pan out as planned?

BM: "I don't know that disappointed is the word, more disillusioned. I thought I had a really good performance. I knew I wasn't on a blinder to win the stage but good enough to be in the mix. But when I look at the people in the group I am with, I am not going to lose my head.

"Zabriskie may have had a bit of an advantage with the wind but Armstrong was awesome.

"Today we have a plan to set it up for Cookie and Eisel and although I might not be leading them out, I will have a role in it."

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