Simon Gerrans, stage winner, leader of Tour Down Under: ?To come away with the stage win and the leader?s jersey we couldn?t hope for more than that today. We saw on the Corkscrew that there are some really strong climbers, obviously Henao and the Cannondale rider that slipped away (Woods), Richie Porte was really strong as well. Rohan Dennis and Jay McCarthy did really strong rides as well today, so it?s going to be close. I came from quite a way back, I knew it was going to be a fast finish, everyone was pretty hammered after going over the Corkscrew so I was really thrilled to win it, even by the narrowest of margins. It?s been a long time between drinks, I had such a difficult season last year, so to start out winning in 2016 it?s really special.?
?That first intermediate sprint was really tough, an uphill drag, that took a bit of energy and I came away with nothing, so we decided to save some energy for the next one and go for the final. Caleb?s not only a great team leader for the sprint stage, but also a great teammate for the intermediate sprints, and I was very happy that he was able to take the two bonus seconds on the next one.?
Richie Porte (BMC), 9th: ?It went quite well, such a dangerous run in to that climb, at this time of year it?s quite stressful. We got there quite well as a team, we had good numbers there and the plan was always to take it on from the bottom. After the selection, it?s obvious that Sergio Henao is climbing really well. Rohan was fantastic as well today, so close to Gerro. At the bottom when I started to ride, Rohan gave me a big grin and a thumbs up, that was always what he was going to do, sit to the back and cover wheels. When Henao and a Garmin guy (Woods) jumped it was always going to come back on the descent.?
Rohan Dennis (BMC), 2nd on stage, 3rd overall: ?When Henao and the other guy attacked I thought ?you know what ride to your tempo?, I looked at my power and it was well above what I should have been able to hold, so don?t go any deeper, it will come back. For Willunga it will depend what the wind is doing, if it?s a headwind you can get more of a sit than you can up the Corkscrew. The Corkscrew is purely who is the better climber, on Willunga tactics, where you are sitting comes into play, and with the lower gradient you can push a bigger gear, which suits bigger guys like myself.?
Michael Woods (Cannondale-Garmin), 3rd on stage: ?My team director saw how well I was climbing and said ?don?t be the first to move, wait for that last steep pitch, and that?s what I did, I was able to respond to Porte?s surges, so I decided to take the reins on the climb and see what happened. When I saw Gerrans, I wasn?t confident at all, he?s got some wheels. I knew we were all racing for the minor placings in the sprint, that?s why I was trying to push the pace with Henao on the flat, but when you?ve got guys like Dennis and Porte rolling hard to bring it back, it?s not an easy task. These guys are the best climbers in the world, I?ve watched them on TV make other guys look silly, so to be able to put some time into them on the climb was crazy.?
Lucas Hamilton (UniSA), crashed: ?I think there was a lockup in the bunch, I tried to stop but I didn?t have enough time, I looked up and had nowhere to go. I sort of skated a bit on one leg, but I?m ok and that?s what matters. I sort of realised straight away that I wouldn?t get back on, it?s too quick coming down into the climb, so I decided to sit up and save it for another day. (On losing time, and how it may open up opportunities) Yeah, exactly. I think Saturday now will suit me a little more, especially because it?s not such a hectic run-in, it makes it a bit easier to position yourself going into the climb. Maybe because I?m not such a GC threat there could be a chance of getting up the road and them not worrying about me.?
Laurens De Vreese (Astana), in the break: ?When I had 4 minutes I believed in the attack, but there was a headwind all day and it was very hot towards the end. I hoped that I would have someone with me, but someone needs to do the first attack, and it was me. I looked backward and I saw nobody, after 10 kilometres I knew already ?Shit, it?s going to be a long day for me?. But I started the attack to do good training today and that was the important thing I think.?
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