Jerome Pineau

WINNER, STAGE FIVE, NOVE LIGURE

"In theory, the sprinters' teams should have been stronger than us, but you could see that day that Garmin and Sky were not very well organised. Tyler Farrar should have taken his second win that day, but his team and the others waited too long and the finish was just a little bit harder than they had thought. It was their mistake and the escape gained from it.

"I remember what Didier Rous told me one time: 'an escape is only worth it ifit makes it to the finish line.' Even if I had not been successful in the escape to Middelburg a few days before, I felt I had the legs to win that morning to Novi Ligure.

"With the sprinters' teams messing about, the stage turned in our favour, but I still had a battle on my hands with Julien Fouchard and Yukiya Arashiro. The Japanese rider, Arashiro, looked to be dead earlier on and so he surprised me with his attack in the last kilometres. But I still kept my faith and watched Fouchard. I took him right to the line. I celebrated with my hands in the air, but really, I was only sure about my win at around 500 metres after the line!"

Above Matt Lloyd and Rubens Bertogliati (I) do battle in their stage-six break Left Vladimir Karpets grits his teeth on stage seven as the strade bianche turn brown

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