Tour de France 2020 stage 3: Finish line quotes

SISTERON FRANCE AUGUST 31 Arrival Sprint Sam Bennett of Ireland and Team Deceuninck QuickStep Caleb Ewan of Australia and Team Lotto Soudal Giacomo Nizzolo of Italy and NTT Pro Cycling Team Hugo Hofstetter of France and Team Israel StartUp Nation Peter Sagan of Slovakia and Team Bora Hansgrohe Matteo Trentin of Italy and CCC Team during the 107th Tour de France 2020 Stage 3 a 198km stage from Nice to Sisteron 488m TDF2020 LeTour on August 31 2020 in Sisteron France Photo by Stuart FranklinGetty Images
Sam Bennett and Caleb Ewan head to head at the finish (Image credit: Getty Images Sport)

Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), stage winner

"The last few days haven't been great for us. Obviously on the first day we crashed and we're down to six days already, but everyone stayed motivated. We all knew that if it all went right then I can win the sprint. Everyone did their job today and everyone gave 110% to make up for the guys missing. It worked.

"The guys did a great job keeping me at the front and in the last km I was a little bit too far forward, so I dropped back a bit into the wheels. That gave me a bit of time to rest the legs just a little bit before the last hit out.

"In the end it worked perfectly, and I found my way through the wheels. Coming from behind is a bit of a risk but I found my way through the barrier and I came with a lot of speed and it worked in the end.

"The first [wins] were really special but it's the Tour de France and the biggest race in the world. It's the race every rider wants to win at and I'm so happy to get another win and prove that last year wasn't just a fluke. I hope to come back in more years and keep winning.

"We knew today could possibly be quite hard but, in the end, luckily a little break went, and it was quite controlled. We need to take every sprint opportunity we can because they're quite rare this year.

"I hope [we'll win more] but with the calibre of sprinter here it's always going to be hard. We have a few more opportunities and we'll take them as they come." (Eurosport)

Sam Bennett (Deceuninck-QuickStep), second place

"It's always guys who are looking for my wheel and can't go first, so I just gave the guys another lead-out. It was just a headwind and it was easy for someone to come off the wheel. My legs weren't the best but it's enough. 

[Is there anything you would change?] "I think it was just a matter of luck.

"It was nice [to have Julian in yellow], but we've got to stay focussed." (Deceuninck-QuickStep)

Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep), race leader

"We had a really good day. The team really controlled everything. We tried to go for the sprint and Sam got second today.

"You can't see, but I'm smiling. I'm really happy to wear the yellow jersey, we defended it today and we'll do it again tomorrow.

"Tomorrow is a big day, there's a big climb up to the finish but I hope we're going to do it. We'll take it day by day and see what happens." (Eurosport)

Jérôme Cousin (Total Direct Energie), most combative

"A rider like me, who can't win in a sprint or in the high mountains, I have to try my luck on this kind of stage. Today I wanted to have fun, that's also what I like on the bike." (ASO)

Jasper De Buyst (Lotto Soudal)

"A lot has been said and written but we never panicked. OK, we have lost two men, but we have the fastest man on two wheels. We had to have faith in that.

"It was a strange final kilometre. At 600 metres from the finish I was in the lead, but I couldn't find Caleb. Apparently, it was the right decision for him. He's not the hardest sprinter to work for. You just have to keep him in front.

"If everything falls right, he can repeat what he did last year." (Sporza)

Thomas De Gendt (Lotto Soudal)

"We had a plan to sprint with and bring him in a good position. It wasn't really my job to bring him in the position, but the guys did perfect work and he won, and you cannot do anything better if he wins.

"I was sitting in the back. I was out of the stress, behind the crash and then I came back. I didn't see anything, I just heard that he won. I didn't know how close it was and I'll see the images on the bus. Now, we'll have a celebration this evening.

"Even our sports director wasn't sure. He asked us if the announcer say Caleb won. We said yes, he won, so it must have been really close if even the sports director didn't see the finish." (Eurosport)

Matteo Trentin (CCC Team)

"It was super chaotic. My position was quite good but I made a mistake to get into the wind too early. The guys coming from the back can just double sprint in the last 100m - from second to eighth - it could have been better.

"I think a lot of guys were a bit tired. The breakaway went straight away and nobody wanted to push the climb too hard. We had two hard days with the crashes and yesterday. I think everybody would like some easy pedaling through the finish. The sprint was too risky." (CCC Team)

Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott)

"It was actually a really easy stage, like active recovery for tomorrow.

"Massive final – the boys did well to bring me in the front but then I said I'll be in the bubble and do my own thing. It was like everybody over the whole road, just trying not to crash. I sprinted in for 11th. Tomorrow is a GC day and a big climb in the end." (Mitchelton-Scott)

Alexander Kristoff (UAE Team Emirates)

'My sprint never really got started today. I was boxed in at the finish and couldn't open up. The legs weren't super either. I will shift my focus now to the team and supporting Tadej [Pogačar].

"My personal goals come later in the season for the classics,  so I'll have a couple more sprint opportunities here but I'll be looking out for the overall team goals mainly." (UAE Team Emirates)

Thank you for reading 5 articles in the past 30 days*

Join now for unlimited access

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

*Read any 5 articles for free in each 30-day period, this automatically resets

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