It was a bittersweet day for Etixx-QuickStep as Zdenek Stybar surged away for victory on stage 6 of the Tour de France while yellow jersey Tony Martin crashed behind and crossed the line gingerly several minutes later nursing a broken collarbone.
Martin touched wheels with a Europcar rider and collided into Vincenzo Nibali, who hit the deck along with Nairo Quintana while Tejay van Garderen toppled onto them and Chris Froome took a knock but stayed upright.
Zdenek Stybar (Etixx-QuickStep)
"Of course it feels really great. I think everyone who is participating here in France they wish to win a stage. It was my big dream. I thought I would have good chance on the stage with the cobbles, but I did it today, so I’m really very happy. "'m very lucky that I can win in front of my wife Ine and my son Lewis. The victory is for them.
"Only now I just have seen the crash from our leader Tony Martin, so I hope it’s not too serious and we can fight for the yellow jersey."
Tony Martin (Etixx-QuickStep)
“I touched the back wheel of a Europcar rider. It was stressful like always. I can’t really remember but as usual with crashes when they are not at high speed, normally the injuries are the worst.”
Vincenzo NIbali (Astana)
"The teams always want to be at the front. It's difficult to be well positioned. I crashed 400 metres from the line. I don't quite understand how we found ourselves in such a mess. I don't understand.
Nairo Quintana (Movistar)
"It’s a superficial knock, and I hope the elbow is all right tomorrow. I’m fine, right now in the immediate aftermath I’m not noticing anything but I hope I’ll be okay."
Tejay van Garderen (BMC)
"The people doing the lead-out were coming back and maybe they were looking behind them, a touch of wheels. It’s always dangerous with finishes like this, uphill there are going to be gaps, the GC guys want to be up there and sprinters still want to go for the stage so getting that mix in together is always pretty dangerous.
"We spent almost the whole day on the coast, so if there had been big winds it could have been like yesterday, even worse. But luckily we had a beautiful day, blue skies and calm winds. It’s always safer at the front, we got Greg in a good position and it got me in a good position to stay even on time."
Chris Froome (Team Sky)
"There was some confusion as to who caused the crash, wanted to clear that up with Vincenzo Nibali (definitely wasn’t me!). Managed to get through with minor graze to the knee. Hope everyone involved, especially Tony Martin, is okay!"
Mark Cavendish (Etixx-QuickStep)
"He [Tony Martin] just got entangled, we weren’t going fast, so he’s just fallen on it [his shoulder]. I’m super happy for Stybar, really, the stage that suited him was today and he did it. I hope Tony is alright."