Tour de France Stage 5 reaction from day's winner Cavendish, maillot jaune Gerrans and others
Cav gets first win of 100th Tour, others happy just to keep out of trouble
Mark Cavendish has been reflecting on his 24th career Tour de France stage victory in Marseille this afternoon, his first in this year’s race, and his first in the British national champion’s jersey. Others, including Simon Gerrans, who stays in the race leader’s maillot jaune, have given their thoughts on crashes towards the end of the 228.5km stage from Cagnes-sur-Mer.
Mark Cavendish of Omega Pharma-Quick Step, winner of today’s Stage 5, who has been battling to overcome a bout of bronchitis
The pressure is now off, for sure because we've won a stage of the Tour de France. It would have been nice to win yesterday but it's not to be underestimated how hard it is to get one stage win on this race.
Every year we put everything into it [Cavendish only joined OPQS at the start of this season – ed], this whole team has been built around it. We've got Michal Kwiatkowski doing an incredible job, he's got the white jersey and that's just a back up as we've put everything we have into the sprints here and I'm glad we could pick up win.
I didn't feel great today but when the guys are committed like they were – not just in the final, but all the way today – it's important to pay them back. They show their motivation by riding themselves into the ground and, like I always say, that really does give you something extra.
[Last leadout man] Geert Steegmans did good, didn't he? I didn't really do anything today. If I'd lost that sprint, I really wasn't paying the lads back. They were incredible. The whole day they stayed with me. I sit behind Geert so I don't feel the wind all day.
He stayed with me on that last climb, then we had to use the guys up in the final to catch the breakaway then Geert just stayed calm and then he went so fast that I didn't have to accelerate off his wheel.
I just held the pace that he took me up to with 250 metres to go. I'm super happy.
This is what I was employed for at Omega Pharma-Quickstep: to come here and win stages and we did that today.
Maillot jaune Simon Gerrans of Orica-GreenEdge, who narrowly avoided being caught in a crash with the finish line in sight
I was up there near the front in the final, I'm not sure where exactly – I guess it was somewhere in the second wave of riders – and it was important to stay up the front and out of trouble.
The dream continues: another day in the yellow jersey. It was a pretty solid stage: long day on small roads and quite a lot of wind but it's really thanks to some great teamwork again I was able to keep the yellow jersey for one more stage.
I'm confident in our team and obviously there are a couple of us in our team who are on the same time so the main priority is just to keep the jersey in our team. I think we're more than capable of doing that for the next couple of days.
The fall must've happened a little bit behind me because I didn't see it happen but it was a pretty hectic final.
There were a couple of crashes in the final part of the stage and that's just a few guys being a little nervous and a lot of guys fighting for position.
It was a tough stage and there was a strong break out there today, they got a big gap at the start and a few of our guys did a lot of work to control that before we got a little help in the second half of the stage.
Cannondale’s Peter Sagan, winner of the green jersey last year and leading the points classification on 111 points from Cavendish, who now has 76, gives his verdict on his rival
The sensations aren't fantastic yet but I was happy with my intermediate sprint and my performance in the final sprint. Day after day we'll see what happens.
Today was really a stage for sprinters – pure sprinters... I lost a couple of points but that's okay, the important thing is to not lose too many. Mark is the fastest man in the world, it's almost impossible to beat him.
Team Sky’s Chris Froome on Edvald Boasson Hagen’s second place as well as the difficulties of keeping out of crashes
It was a grippy day on the wheel but it’s another day to tick off and Edvald got the chance to stretch his legs in the final there and he came second to Cav which is no mean feat at all considering he doesn’t have a lead-out train with him or anything.
We’re concentrating on the GC and our game-plan was to stay near the front and out of trouble – to try and stay ahead of most of the problems – but it seems most of the crashes these days are at the front so you have to stay awake at all times.
We all managed to get through it though and we'll be good to go again on Thursday.