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Tour de France 2020 stage 1: Finish line quotes

UAE Team Emirates’ Alexander Kristoff took the 2020 Tour de France’s first yellow jersey
UAE Team Emirates’ Alexander Kristoff took the 2020 Tour de France’s first yellow jersey (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates) - stage winner and yellow jersey

“I always dreamt about wearing the yellow jersey and now it’s a dream come true.

“You can’t dream of a better start. We have a team of climbers and didn’t think of winning the sprints, at least not so early on, but I felt really strong in the final kilometres, and going to the line I saw I’m going to win. It was an amazing feeling. I’m really proud of what I was able to do. The boys kept me safe during the stage but I was alone in the final kilometers. But I still found a good wheel. 

"I was sitting on [Peter] Sagan for a long time. Then I got boxed in but I saw Cees Bol starting on the right and tried to follow. I saw he was fading but I still had legs, so I went. It was an amazing moment for me.

"My run-in to this Tour has not been great, I have no results. I also crashed in the Euro championships on my head too, so was a bit banged up. But it didn’t effect me today. Taking the yellow jersey means a lot for my career, and [this] stage win also means I can still be up there with the best in the world at 33 years old and have four kids, I still manage to perform." (ASO)

Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) - fifth on the stage  

"It was a crazy last kilometre. It was all the way a headwind. I started my sprint with 200 metres to go but it was very nervous. 

"In the end it was a big mess. A sprint with a headwind like this are a bit of a lottery. I just need a bit more good luck." (Bora-Hansgrohe) 

Mads Pedersen (Trek Segafredo) - second on the stage and in the white jersey

"The peloton stood together as a unit today and took it easy on the downhill. If you do it on the downhill you'll see how much oil there was on the roads. So it was nice to see the peloton stand together and then start racing. 

"To finish off second was super nice. The boys did a super lead out. I lost them a little bit but when it was this close I would have liked to have won, but I can be happy with the second place. I'm still racing to win.

"It's super nice to start the Tour like this with the white jersey. I'm happy with how the boys did today with their lead out."

Cees Bol (Team Sunweb) - third on the stage

“In hindsight, maybe it was a bit too early but I really got to sprint full gas for the line, and Kristoff was just faster. Overall I’m actually really happy to be in the mix and the confidence grows because of this.  

"I’m not too disappointed with third but it’s a bit of a mixed feeling; it’s my first race in a long time but it’s my first podium at the Tour de France. I think now already we can look back on some things that we can do better and I think we’ll be close more often in the coming sprints.” (Team Sunweb)

Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott) - 14th on stage 1

"It was pretty sketchy on the downhills into the town. The corners were really slippery and I guess that it wasn’t raining here for a while. 

"The last climb made a big split and we were all in front, but then we decided to neutralize the race until we got to the flat. I just tried to do my own thing. I knew that it would be chaotic in the end with all the sprinters there. 

"I was left at the front with 500m to go and then the others came around me. Jack Bauer put me there, because he thought we were closer to the finish than we actually were." (Mitchelton-Scott)

Wout van Aert (Jumbo-Visma) - 35th on the stage

"Ultimately, on balance it was a positive day for us, because Tom [Dumoulin] and Primoz [Roglic] have stayed out of trouble.

"It was really crazy. It probably hadn't rained here for a long time and the road was soapy water. I fell myself, at 40 kilometres per hour. I knew I shouldn't brake, but in the end I had to do it anyway and I was there. Fortunately I have nothing [injured].

"In some places you saw the oil stains, in other places soapy water. As an organization you cannot do anything with this, this is pure bad luck but hopefully the sun will shine again tomorrow." (Sporza)

Tom Dumoulin (Jumbo-Visma) - 43rd on the stage

“It was a tricky first stage. But is it over the limit? No. 

“I don't think it had rained here for four months. In the end, we did the right thing by neutralizing it. The jury can't really sense how smooth it is. We have to judge things for ourselves.” (AD.nl)

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