Stage 3 of the Tour de France was a mostly 223.5km dawdle from Granville  which ended in a fast finish in Anger.

“I normally know when I won or I lose. When I crossed the line, I kind of knew I got it today but anything can happen. I've lost and won sprints by a fewer margin than today. I knew I had to come from behind. I wanted to be behind Greipel. He took me by surprised but I'm happy I did it. My teammates were phenomenal. We executed the plan that [sport director] Roger Hammond gave us in the bus this morning. It's superb for Dimension Data. We came here to make our sponsors proud. I've been fortunate to race for some of the biggest teams in the world. I've had successful years. I've made a lot of friends. I've had a lot of fun but I was also under a lot of pressure to deliver. Now I ride for a cause. It's 50 percent about charity, 50 per cent about winning races.”

Tuesday 5 Jul 2016

“This is such a pity. I lost with only a few millimetres difference, Cavendish was just a bit faster. It was a chaotic end of the stage. In the last six to seven kilometres it was difficult to stay together as a team. Anyway, Jürgen Roelandts managed to let me start the sprint in a good position. My gear was too big for the steep finish and that might have made me lose. Nonetheless, Cavendish showed again how strong he is, it would not be wise to underestimate him, this is his 28th stage win at the Tour after all. But with the team we proved we are capable of winning and tomorrow we’ll aim again for the stage win.”

“I would have preferred to win, especially as I was close to home and I had lots of fans today. Direct Energie worked well, but we came to the front a little early. We're going to rebrief tonight. I'm getting better and better. The first day I was frustrated, yesterday I was extremely disappointed. Now I'm in the game, I came back from far, I rode a great sprint. There remains tomorrow and other stages throughout the Tour. I'm not going to give up. I reacted well after my disappointment of yesterday. Tomorrow is going to be tiresome, it's always a bit tricky in the Limoges area. We're going to try and do something good.”  

"We rode full gas from 25 kilometers to go and it was really intense. In the finale, we were there, but we did a mistake by hitting the front too early, so in the closing meters the other guys came very fast from behind and I got boxed in. It's important to learn from mistakes, to remain calm and talk about what happened. The positive side of things is that I feel good and my legs are there. We will try again in the next days."

"My attack wasn't planned. It was a relatively boring stage so I wanted to put a bit of craziness into it. It didn't cost me much energy to do that because I didn't spend the whole day at the front. I'm not able to help the Coq [Coquard] in the sprint lead out so going away gave a chance to the team to race a bit more conservatively.”

“It's been a relaxed day with only one rider (Armindo Fonseca of Fortuneo-Vital Concept) in the breakaway. He was going slowly so we had to go slowly as well because we didn't want to catch him. It was nice. At some stage, I thought of stopping for a coffee. I saw a bar but eventually, I had no time. We've done 200km of transfer and 20km of racing. With the rainbow jersey and the yellow jersey, I don't know if I can say that I'm now part of the legend of cycling. I'm still racing for now. I might become part of the legend later.”

"I think we handled the lead out very well with Marco and Jacopo doing a good job. The problem was that I lost Jacopo in one corner because a guy from Orica was crashing, so as I came back Jacopo saw me and was moving, but there was a guy on my outside and he almost took out my front wheel so I almost crashed again, and lost him again. I tried to find my way to the front on my own, but it was two times out in the wind and I had nothing left. I have been a bit close to crashing in these Tour de France finishes so far and I’ve used too much energy to get back to the front and then I have no power left to sprint with. I hope I can have a smoother ride into the sprint tomorrow which will give me something left to sprint with. I felt good today; it was a pretty easy day and normally it is better for me if it’s a little bit harder so we’ll see tomorrow if we continue to go slow or if we go a little bit faster. Usually I should be better than the eleventh place I was today as I wasn’t good enough, so hopefully I am better tomorrow"