Skip to main content

Stage 1 rider reactions

Fabian Cancellara (Team CSC): "We had a fairly quiet stage and it was very nice to be riding through the English countryside wearing yellow. It kinda dawned on me sometime during the stage that I was really wearing it after having dreamt about it and worked towards it for a couple of months. The team did a great job in defending it out there today."

Carlos Sastre (Team CSC): "Today has been quite tranquil for us. We have worked to maintain the yellow of Fabian Cancellara. The team has done great work in a day that was important to be in front, because its quite complicated phase, with many crossings, islands and roundabouts. The team has tried to roll always in the front of the peloton, that is a surer and more tranquil place. The stage was determined by a sprint, without any consequences for us - that was important. Another thing that has caught my attention is the quantity of spectators that have lined the stages. This it is my seventh Tour and I believe that today was the most people I have seen along the gutters. This is something that encourages us riders and helps us to continue fighting."

Robbie McEwen (Predictor-Lotto): "The boys bought me back into the bunch and I honestly can't believe I won the stage. But that is huge. I thought I had broken my wrist when I first crashed. I was pretty pissed off actually and the guys just did an awesome ride to get me back It was a good day but now my wrist is swollen and my knee is sore. But I am worried about my wrist as it's swollen considerably. I'll get some ice on it and see how I come up tomorrow."

Alexandre Vinokourov (Astana): "The traffic islands on the road are always very dangerous. And finally, it was very nervous as usual in the Tour de France. The peloton finished very powerfully. Everything is okay for me except my ankle - which hurts me again a little bit."

Andreas Klöden (Astana): "The stage was very fast. I felt good even if the road was sometimes dangerous. But we understood each other very good with Alexandre Vinokourov and Sergueï Ivanov, that allowed us to ride constantly."

Alejandro Valverde (Caisse d'Epargne): "I believe that everybody was happy to arrive in Canterbury, because the stage was not really an easy one, with dangerous roads and many roundabouts and curves. The stage has also been a very fast one but I think that we saved the day and that is the most important element."

Oscar Pereiro (Caisse d'Epargne): "What we wanted today was first of all to avoid the problems and the crashes. It is really a pity that Xabier Zandio was involved in one of them and I hope that it is nothing serious and that he will be able to go on. The day has been a complicated one, very nervous, but I believe that what we had the opportunity to experience on the roads of England deserved the pain. I am really impressed by what that we have lived here."

David Millar (Saunier Duval): "Early this morning, it dawned on me that I had to do something for the people who supported me yesterday. Everybody was crazy about me, and this is my way of say thanks. I'd made the decision of launching an early attack, but had told no-one about it. When I broke away, the only thing I could see was that I was riding fast, so I said to myself, "Go ahead!" When my lead was five minutes, I waited on the quartet chasing after me. In the final part of the race, it became more difficult, but my team did a great job, using a very smart strategy. Grabbing the jersey wasn't one of my goals, it just happened. To me, the only important thing was putting up a good show for my fans and followers. I think it happens once in a lifetime only, with such huge enthusiastic crowds lining the roads. It surprised us all, even me. Now, my aim is keeping the KOM jersey on my shoulders. And I believe that, if things go well, I'll be able to wear it at least until we come to the Alps."

Michael Rodgers (T-Mobile): "My heart goes out to Mark Cavendish today. From the moment the Tour organisers announced the route, this stage had sprint finish written all over it. Everybody wanted to be towards the front going up the final climb to be well positioned for the run in," said the Aussie in his diary. "Luckily the rest of us stayed out of trouble. I knew these climbs and narrow roads from the Tour of Britain last year and realised I had to be at the front to stay safe. Well that's the English stages done and dusted now - I think every rider I have spoken to has said that the crowds here were about the biggest they'd ever seen at a bike race. I certainly enjoyed the few days!"

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

Join now for unlimited access

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