Stage 3 post-race comments

Stefan Schumacher (Gerolsteiner, first & maglia rosa)

"This was the race of may life. That's what I always dreamed about, and now the dream has come true. The victory, the pink jersey and this team. It's unbelievable, I'm overwhelmed. It's madness. I can't grasp it at all and it will surely take some time after the interviews and press conferences to sink in." Schumacher had hoped for the maglia rosa before the stage, "but you just can't plan and foresee something like this.

"I can't even predict at all how long I will keep the maglia rosa as I've never done a three week race before. Today both Rebellin and I were keen to do well in the final and our teammate Moletta did a great job for us. So I'm really happy with the results."

Christian Henn, Gerolsteiner directeur sportif

"Andrea Moletta was going to do the work at the foot of the climb. And Stefan or Davide [Rebellin] were to attack," said Henn about the team's tactics. When Rubiera managed to follow Schumacher, "I gave the command to pull through."

Davide Rebellin (Gerolsteiner, third)

"It was a hard stage today with the rain. We rode well and my teammate Schumcher made just the right move and deserved to win today."

Paolo Savoldelli (Discovery Channel, ninth)

"It was a good stage for me despite the rain...we didn't want to crash or lose time and I even gained some time at the finish. So it went well."

Paolo Bettini (Quick Step-Innergetic, fourth)

"I wanted to win today and even checked out the finish before. It's too bad since my teammates worked hard all day on the front in the rain in the wind. When Rubiera went, I hesitated a second and then it was too late because I was blocked by a scooter from the race organzation and that's when Schumacher went."

Alessandro Petacchi (Milram, 195th)

Immediately after the stage, and before he had been examined and found to have broken his knee, Petacchi told reporters how the crash had happened. "When a Euskaltel rider crashed about four or five riders ahead of me, I braked hard but stayed up until Cioni slid into me and hooked my handlebars," he said. "I fell over on my left side and hit my knee hard. It hurt a lot at first, but felt better at the end of the stage. I'll go back to the hotel and have it checked out... I hope it's OK."

Damiano Cunego (Lampre, 16th)

"With all this rain, you have always to pay much attention. At 3 kms left there was a crash ahead and, even if I slowed down, I couldn't avoid the fallen riders. So I began the climb not in the first positions, but I succeeded in closing the gap and I reached the finish line with Di Luca and Basso."

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