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More Riders reactions
By Celine Tytgadt
Date: 7/8/2002
More Riders reactions
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Tom Steels:

"I didn't recover from Sunday.  Rather be dropped in the final than killing myself trying to hold on.  There will be more days with mass sprints.  If I feel fresh, then I can go for victory."

"Yes, I did race in the attack all day in the Belgian championships, but that was a different race.  This is the Tour.  On a route like that they can kill me.  In that case, it's no use hanging on.  Then it's better to continue on your own pace.  Actually, it turned out like I expected today.  It wasn't easy.  And still better than yesterday and Saturday.  In the prologue nothing worked, whatever gear I used."

"Freire is another kind of rider.  He can go uphill quite smoothly and has pure speed as a sprinter and that's rare.  I think we'll need to talk tonight.  I don't have any problems with pulling the sprint for him.  The most important thing is that Mapei wins, and that was the scenario of today."

Nico Mattan:

I was about to mix in the sprint, but I had to go really hard in the last five km to even get to the head of the peloton.  At about 1 km from the finish they were flying as if the finish line were 100 meters further down the road.  I had used up all my best powers. 

In the mean time, I start feeling better.  I hope that the coming days, I can join some breakaways so that I can fight for the victory.  But it will probably have to wait until after the team time trial because the GC contenders are keeping everything closed.  But from Thursday until Pau there will be lots of opportunities for me.

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