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Tour de France: Stage 2 finish line quotes

Teammates congratulate Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) after winning stage 2 at the Tour de France

Teammates congratulate Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) after winning stage 2 at the Tour de France

Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors) - stage 2 winner

"I am so happy that I got this victory today. It was an incredible start in Germany with so many people. For me, it would be wrong to say that I had no expectation or no pressure. It all comes out now, and I really wanted to have this win. It was a big goal to start in Germany and win at the end of this stage.

"If we are honest and look to the plan, it didn’t work at all. The good thing was I came pretty late and I could jump from the wheels. Matteo [Trentin] from us was on the left, and Saba [Fabio Sabatini] brought me to 500 metres and then I just thought, ‘OK, I need to take my own way.’ I was just jumping from wheel to wheel through small gaps, and in the end I could go straight to the front. I’m super relieved."

Chris Froome (Team Sky)

"No injuries, thankfully. I’ve just lost a little bit of skin on my backside. That’s the nature of the race. We knew that there were slippery conditions, and every time you put your race numbers on you take risks and something could happen. Today there was just a touch of wheels or someone slipped a few wheels ahead of me, and at those speeds you just can’t avoid it. A few of us went down, but thankfully everyone is OK and we got to the finish without losing any time to our rivals. That’s the main thing."

Michal Kwiatkowski (Team Sky)

"Some riders went too fast into the roundabout, and, you know, with rain all day it was so slippery and everyone was pretty nervous in that moment," Kwiatkowski told NBC Sports. "We all went down, but honestly, we didn’t panic and we easily came back to the front. I hope there is no damage and nobody really got hurt in that crash.

"We didn’t panic, as I said. [Froome] swapped a bike for a second time when we went back to the bunch after the first time, so it was still pretty far from the finish, and we had great support from Christian Knees and other guys to be back in the front, so no worries."

Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) - overall leader

"Some guys crashed in front of us and a few guys came down. Little tumble at 30 kilometres. We were all in good position, nowhere you can go, all was OK, and nice bonus to keep the jersey at the end of the day.

"Even though it was sketchy and not very nice conditions. We all knew [Chris Froome] was ok. Very stressful. Forget what the Tour's like, it's harsh reminder how stressful it can be. Having the jersey made that a lot easier.

"Terrible day with the rain, definite boost to morale considering stress. We were in a good position when crashed, we just slid and that was it.

"Hopefully I can keep [the yellow jersey] as long as possible, but the overall goal doesn’t change."

Richie Porte (BMC Racing)

"I came out of the crash OK, but there were a few guys that went down a lot harder.

"It was a stressful day. It was the first real stage of the Tour and then you get the rain, then it dries up and then starts raining again.

"It was a nice one to come through and it’s nice to get the first crash out of the way and get on with it. Hopefully, my knee is OK, I have a little bit of a bang on that, but I’m looking forward to tomorrow.

Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) - sixth in the Liege sprint

"With all this big-name sprinters I had to try something and go early because otherwise I’ve go no chance. It didn’t work out this tie but the important thing is to be up there and fighting with them. The Tour has only just begun.

"I think I’ve got more chance tomorrow, the riding finish suits me better and the tem is strong to help me.