Jay McCarthy (Tinkoff), 1st on stage, Ochre Jersey wearer. ?It?s always good to start the season here in Australia, and to finish it with a victory in the stage today, I?m glad the team gave me a chance to go for the stage today, and it paid off in the end. I was hoping for a Top 5 overall this year, I knew I had some good training leading in and I felt like I had some good form. I?m not done for the week, hopefully I can keep working hard and go for my goal, hopefully even on top of the podium at the end of the week. I?m a bit of an underdog in the big picture of this race, but I feel like the shape?s good and I?ve got a good team around me to go for it.?
?We saw the finish was close today, but I felt like everything lined up today, and to get passed on the line, I wasn?t going to let that happen. I think you saw Gerro going out there for the bonus seconds today, he?s smart enough and strong enough to know what he needs to do to secure the Ochre jersey at the end of the race, so he?s definitely going to be a threat. I don?t know if I?ll definitely have to go for the bonus seconds, but hopefully there will be another chance that I can go for it in the final.?
Simon Gerrans (Orica-Greenedge), taken out by a crash in the final 500 metres: ?The stage was really going to plan, the guys rode the perfect race for us, they dragged that first break back so we could do the intermediate sprint, where I won it and Caleb was 2nd. Then Adam slips away, but I was able to take some more seconds in the next sprint. Coming into the finish, the guys were exactly where we needed to be, we were really well placed. Daryl was just about to go round the group and open up, and someone just fell straight in front of him. He went down, and I went straight over the top with nowhere to go. All?s not lost for the day, we picked up a valuable five seconds on the road.?
Patrick Bevin (Cannondale-Garmin), 6th: ?It was a day where I could potentially have a go and get in up amongst my first World Tour sprint proper. It?s (the NRS) been a great proving ground for good bike riders, obviously it?s a huge step up and there?s a certain amount of learning to be done. I think today a little bit of inexperience played into it, but you live and learn and you pick another day to fight. I had to make a couple of efforts in the final kilometres, which, ideally, if you?re sprinting for the win you don?t want to make. Really it was getting caught behind the crash, that happened, and just being a bit more aware of how guys are going to play it out and then deliver a sprint that?s going to get you the win. It?s pretty daunting, your second day, and your DS taps you on the shoulder and asks if you?re good for a go tomorrow. You relish that opportunity and it?s disappointing to come with a 6th. But you?re up there, and the guys really put me in a good position in the final few kilometres, the guys were riding well, and it?s really exciting for the days ahead.?
On graduating from Avanti to Cannondale-Garmin ?I’ll always be an alumni from the Avanti squad, they are such a great bunch of guys and I wouldn?t be where I am without them. I?ll wear that tag with pride and carry that through as I go on, and not just get here and think ?that?s great?. I?ve got ambitions to go further.?
Adam Hansen (Lotto Soudal), Most Combative rider. ?Yeah, it?s a tough course, the hardest stage in the Tour Down Under and with the heat it made it a bit difficult. We wanted a guy in the break, at first we had Thomas de Gendt, then Greenedge closed that down, then they asked someone else to go if they wanted to, so I put my hand up. They wanted me to be more in the breaks at this Tour Down Under and not go for GC, so I?m just here to race and enjoy myself. It was nice that I lost some time today, normally I?m up there on GC, so maybe they?ll let me go in a breakaway and maybe I get the chance of winning the stage. Maybe Stage 4 will be a good chance for me.?
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