Skip to main content

Pre-start quotes

Simon Gerrans (AG2R)

Can you give us a bit of a run down on yesterday and what you think might happen today? "Yeah, it didn't seem too bad because we had a bit of a tail wind for most of the day. Credit Agricole set a pretty cracking tempo to keep that breakaway close. In the heat the past couple of days I've been a bit sleepy but I'm right now.

We were lucky we had Arrieta in the breakaway so it took the pressure off us and we were able to just sit back in the bunch. Today's not going to be a great deal cooler but it's not a hard day and I think it's a formality that it's going to be bunch sprint. Boonen is out there in the lead and I think he's going to want to win stages in the yellow. I don't see anything other than a bunch sprint so I don't think I'll waste my time thinking about any breakaways."

At this moment Boonen rode by, resplendent in the maillot jaune with matching yellow knicks and the 100,000 strong crowd erupted.

Stuart O'Grady (CSC)

Stuey, I'd take that number 13 off if I were you. "When I knew I was riding number 13, I thought I would turn it into a positive. Guess it hasn't turned out that way. I've cracked a small bone at the base of my vertebrae and it's pretty painful. I've got the all clear to ride today but I'll find out pretty quick if I can ride or not."

What happened? "Someone went down in front of me and the next thing we were both off the road. I had the option of going into a pole or a ditch and I chose the ditch because it looked softer than the pole."

Do you think you can make Paris? "It will take a miracle."

Michael Rogers (T-Mobile)

Hey Mick you've put away the best sprinters yesterday. "I don't think I have ever sprinted better than that. Actually I don't remember lining up for a big sprint since I was a juvenile (under 16). I wasn't thinking of the yellow jersey, I was just happy to be running second and having a teammate win the stage."

You should have another crack today, you might go one better? "No, I don't think so. Feels nice at this stage to be where I am in the first few days of the Tour. Basically now I have to stay out of trouble until Saturday and conserve my energy for the time trial. I hope to have the ride of my life there. The conditions are looking good so things are looking good. Yesterday was close. But hopefully I'll have the yellow after the time trial.

"Every second is going to count, after the first few days, the general classification is still pretty close. Where I am now gives me even more motivation to do well because as I said there is a good chance for yellow after the time trial.

"The morale is there, the legs are good and the head is right, everyone's really calm and the win yesterday takes a weight off our shoulders."

At this stage Robbie McEwen rode past and said; "go you sprinter you." To which Mick answered; "You're next Robbie."

Robbie McEwen (Davitamon-Lotto)

Bit of a blow yesterday, losing Freddy? "Yeah, it's a huge blow. I've got Steegmans to work for me but he doesn't have the experience of Fred. It is going to be a bit different in the finale. I guess it's going to be a bit back to the old days when I was doing it practically on my own. Gert is going to have to learn on the job. He's going to be the one to get me to the final. He's got plenty of speed and he's got incredible strength, he just doesn't have the experience. He will need to get me in the right position up to the final kilometre. I like the finish in St Quentin. It's slightly uphill in the final 500 metres and that should suit me."

Cadel Evans (Davitamon-Lotto)

Good ride yesterday Cadel. I see you managed to stay out of trouble. "Yeah, I know these roads well from Liege-Bastogne-Liege but when we hit those final hills and the narrow roads in the classic, the field was reduced. Yesterday was pretty chaotic.

"How good was that sprint of Mick's yesterday? I was on his wheel when he went for it and I wish I had held it."

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1