■ GERT STEEGMANS, BELGIUM
"The pressure that day was high because we hadn't won a stage that year with Quick Step and wanted to show the world that we were still a good team.
"So, when it finished, we were really happy to win — I was so exhausted because it was a long sprint but also a load of stress off our shoulders. The day before I said 'OK, if we go in front after the corner, I'm going to go early because I know the guy in my wheel is the only one who can beat me'. We had four guys in the last corner, and it worked out. If you dream how you're going to do it, and you do it the same way, it's a great feeling.
"After the finish, there's not much time to enjoy it—there's a press conference, podium, shower on the bus, doping control; it's hectic. Then they gave me my suitcase and said goodbye. I was standing on the Champs Elysees ninety minutes after my victory with my suitcase! That was a bummer: no party, no beer, no champagne — only when I got to my parent's place around midnight, but it had felt pretty shit on the train home!"
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