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Reactions to the stage into Compiègne

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Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC)

Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) (Image credit:
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Zabel (Image credit: Sirotti)

Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC) - First:

Fabian Cancellara commented on his victory, even though immediately after the stage finish he declared "I am almost speechless. To win in France with the yellow jersey, that is just fantastic." He later elaborated that "it was absolutely fantastic to win in the yellow jersey. I was afraid I'd loose it during those final 30 kilometres and now in stead I'm standing here with a victory, which I'll remember for a very long time."

Erik Zabel (Milram) - Second:

Erik Zabel beat all the sprinters, but made his calculations without the bold move of Fabian Cancellara from CSC. So instead of a stage win, the German added another second place to his palmarès. Describing the day he confirmed that there "was a cross wind that hit us slightly from the front, so it was normal that CSC would only ride as fast as the break.

"There are so many good riders here, and it would be unjust to Fabian to not take him into account for the stage win, but I would have bet more on Tom Boonen, Daniele Bennati or Robbie McEwen. That the yellow jersey, Fabian Cancellara, could get so much advantage over us on the cobbles that it was enough to beat us, well, we just have to say without envy that that was 'extraordinaire'.

"For me it was a normal stage. Headwind, very long [distance]. When it starts out slowly then the finale is even faster. It was of course ideal for Fabian to attack on the cobbles. And for me it was a very long sprint. So overall it is ok. [Second place] is not bad for my age [smiles]."

Sébastien Hinault (Crédit Agricole):

Sébastien Hinault, who was working for his Crédit Agricole teammate Thor Hushovd, revealed that "the break was playing with our nerves. They decided to save energy so they would have some strength for the finale, knowing that the peloton would be content to leave the gap at around five minutes.

"They didn't lack much to be successful. That could have been last laugh, with the arrival of two fresh guys."

Thor Hushovd (Crédit Agricole):

Hinault's captain, Thor Hushovd, told Cyclingnews' Jean-François Quénet that "Today I was suffering a little bit from the injuries but only at the beginning of the stage. It was a very bizarre stage today. It went really fast at the end. I got boxed in with 200 meters to go. I should have opened my sprint earlier."

Danilo Napolitano (Lampre-Fondital):

Danilo Napolitano of Lampre-Fondital has reached the podium of a Tour stage for the first in his career. The fast man of the Italian squad said that "I'm happy with the podium, even if the victory is always my target. Today's stage was very strange, with a low average. It's difficult to do a sprint when the speed has been low all day. I saw Cancellara attacking with a lot of speed; I waited for the right moment to start my sprint, but I was closed in on the left." After he freed himself, he "pedaled with full strength, but Cancellara was very fast.

Daniele Bennati (Lampre-Fondital):

Teammate Daniele Bennati was relieved about the low speed, indicating "it helped me after yesterday's fall. My ribs ached only in the final part of the stage, when the speed increased. I hope to get better and better in the next days.

Fran Ventoso (Saunier Duval):

Fran Ventoso of Saunier Duval said that "after the crash yesterday, I managed to do a good job today. The slow pace was OK for me. It was an easy race up to the final stretch. I'm a bit worried about my leg: when I'm riding it doesn't hurt but as soon as I stand up or move it, a sharp pain appears. I hope it isn't anything severe. I believe if I was able to ride for 230 kilometres it can't be any major injury. I tried to be part of the sprint but it wasn't easy to do [being] all on my own and amongst whole teams. Before reaching the pavé I was 40th and when it was over I had already passed ten or twelve riders. Unfortunately, that was the best I could do."

Joxean Fernández Matxin (Saunier Duval):

Joxean Fernández Matxingave gave a deeper insight on why Scot David Millar was not sprinting for the mountain points to keep the jersey for at least another day. "I´m not worried about [the team] having lost the polka-dot jersey. We wore it for two days, and that's great. Tomorrow, the riders will have to face four climbing challenges and Millar is not supposed to fight for the KOM classification. Today, he didn't feel confident about beating Augé on the summit, and when the Frenchman attacked, we just couldn't have the whole team push over 40 kilometres. We had done this on day one. The good thing is that Ventoso was able to ride despite yesterday´s accident”.

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