Lukas Pöstlberger (Bora-Hansgrohe) – stage winner
“It’s a surprise! I knew my shape was good,” said Postlberger. “We wanted to try to lead Sam Bennett out but he lost my wheel and when I saw a gap, I decided to try myself. I gave all I had. It worked out. This is my first professional win and I get the maglia rosa. It will take me a long time to believe this.”
Caleb Ewan (Orica-Scott)
“It was a really strong move by (Lukas Postlberger),” Ewan said. “It was a hectic finish and sometimes a moment’s hesitation can lose the race.”
“There’s not many opportunities to take the pink jersey so obviously it’s bitter sweet to finish second but there are more days to come and you have to congratulate the move.”
Matt White (sport director at Orica-Scott )
“We need to look at the footage. It looked like an accidental move by Bora but it paid off,” sport director Matt White said.
“The finish was hectic after a crash in the final kilometers and maybe there was some hesitation. Sometimes that’s all it can take in a situation like this.
“It’s the first sprint of a Grand Tour after a relatively slow day. We are all feeling each other out and they aren’t often text-book sprints in those scenarios. There are more opportunities to come.”
Andre Greipel (Lotto Soudal)
“The finale was really hectic. We couldn’t stay together as a team. Jasper De Buyst brought me in a good position but what Pöstlberger did here is very impressive. He stayed well ahead but this shouldn’t be a surprise because he is a strong rider. He proved that this year with his fifth place in the E3 Harelbeke. Not everyone can remain ahead of a bunch that wants to sprint for the victory. I wanted to sprint for pink but Pöstlberger proved to be the strongest. We will be looking for another opportunity in the next couple of days. “
Kristian Sbaragli (Dimension Data)
“The team did a pretty good job going into the corner with 2.5km to go. Fortunately the speed slowed a bit as I had lost position and Nathan Haas then brought me back into the top 10 positions. Moving up like that meant I had to do a sprint before the final effort, so I couldn’t do my maximum to the line. We are looking forward to the next stages, the spirit in the team is really good, I am feeling good and you could see all our guys were strong today.”
Viacheslav Kuznetsov (Katusha-Alpecin)
“It was a long stage and almost all of it was into a headwind, so it was not too fast, in fact it was slow sometimes. But there was sunshine and very good team spirit. We worked together and are looking forward to the next stages. In the final Ilnur told me I could go in the front and make my sprint, so I went in the best position but it was tricky with a lot of corners,” said Viacheslav Kuznetsov, who placed 14th on the stage.
Phil Bauhaus (Team Sunweb)
“Throughout the whole day we were focused on staying close to Tom and protecting him. I stayed with Tom until 3.5 kilometres to the finish then I stayed on Gaviria’s wheel. He left a gap and I ended up in the wind too early. 10th place at my first Grand Tour stage is something to be happy with, especially considering my crash and injury in April.”
Tejay van Garderen (BMC)
“I didn’t even see the crash. The guys did a good job of keeping us safe. My teammate Silvan got tangled up in it, I hope he’s OK. But we stayed safe. I had Joey and Quinziato, they were designated to keep me out of trouble and they did a fantastic job today. If it continues like this, it should be a fun three weeks.”