Quotes: Remco Evenepoel, Primoz Roglic and Tao Geoghegan Hart before first mountain stage of the Criterium du Dauphine

Stage 5 of the Criterium du Dauphiné was a chaotic one, ending with a mass crash on wet roads. The French race saw many of it's main GC contenders crashing on the day - Juan Ayuso even abandoned the race - and so riders such as Remco Evenepoel, Primoz Roglic and Tao Geoghegan Hart have shared words before the start of the first mountain stage.

“I feel pretty good, better than expected. I slept well. We’ll see how it goes when I have to push hard on the pedals, but I think it’s better than it was two months ago,” Evenepoel said in a post-race interview. Some bleeding in the shoulder which he injured two months ago at Itzulia was a cause for concern for the race leader, but he was not forced to abandon the race as Primoz Roglic was at the time.

“I have a small lead over Primoz and a more comfortable lead over the others, so I’m going to try to defend that. The stages tomorrow and the day after will generally be tougher, but today is a first big test to see how my shape and body are when I have to go flat out for half an hour.”

Primoz Roglic also suffered minor damage to a shoulder which he had previously damaged, and for the second race in a row he has now crashed twice. “But luckily I’m here," Roglic said in words to CyclingPro.net. "Everything looked good on the scans this morning, so we’ll continue. We’ll see when we start cycling. During the stage, everyone will notice the consequences. But it’s clear why we’re here. We’re going to do our best."

It's going to be a day of testing for the BORA - hansgrohe rider, who is prioritizing the Tour de France, and trying to avoid the pressure this week as much as possible. "But to be honest, I don’t care about the result, I don’t care about the classification. We’re here to get racing days under our belts together with the team. That’s what we have to go for.”

Tao Geoghegan Hart also started the stage today, in ninth place, despite having crashed against an electricity pole at high speed during yesterday's crash. “I was able to control my speed quite well. A few riders in front of me went to the ground, but I was able to steer around them on the right and swerve onto the grass to get off my bike,” Tao Geoghegan Hart said.

“But then someone hit me from behind, I think they didn’t want to brake, just like me. That sent me flying into an electricity pole. have no scratches or wounds, but I hit the pole at about 45 kilometers per hour with my bicep and the rest of my side.” Amazingly, the Briton of Lidl-Trek got out of it almost unscathed. He suffers some pain into today's important stage which features a summit finish at Le Collet d'Allevard, however no fractures or major injuries are recorded.

“But that’s always complicated. Even if it’s (ribs, ed.) not broken, you can have trouble breathing. So we’ll see how today goes. I know that others will start with fractures. We haven't ruled anything out yet, but nothing seems to have been moved or postponed. If today doesn't go well, we'll have to make a new plan. But we'll wait for the first part of the stage."

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