Euskatel's Markel Irizar was only four seconds behind prologue winner Thor Hushovd. The Basque rider grabbed
the second spot. Irizar said: "I am happy, I can count myself among the best and that has been very satisfying. In addition
to the partial victory, winning the prologue of course would have meant to wear the first leader's jersey for Euskaltel Euskadi
in this race, one of the most prestigious on the international calendar. Both for the team and for me it would have been enjoyed
to start a day in the morning at the top of the overall standings, but it wasn't meant to be."
David Millar (Slipstream Chipottle) came in 12th. Millar said: “There are few things worse than having a chrono performance
compromised because of the weather. Considering I was one of the last to go before it started drying out more, I’m satisfied
with my result."
Milram's Andrey Grivko finished 8th prologue and was awarded the white jersey of the best young rider. "I am
very happy with my top ten placement. That was a very good day for me,“ said Grivko after the prologue. "Everything
went perfectly despite the wind and rain, and I will try to defend the young rider's jersey in the next few days.“
sports director Raoul Liegbregts said: "We can be very satisfied with these results. The riders are all motivated and we want
to be very active in the race in the next days.“
Young gun Robert Gesink (Rabobank) said: "It was raining every now and then, so that caused that the roads around Amilly were pretty slippery. So
I had to watch out, as it would be a shame to risk to many and than go down. In the coming days the weather will play a major
role in the way the race will develop. There is a strong wind and it looks like were not going to keep it dry tomorrow as
well. I am looking forward to stage 4 which will finish at Mont Ventoux."
Rabobank's sports director Erik Dekker wasn't to happy about the weather conditions: "Today's story is a bit unclear. The
first 35 guys ride dry, than a hundred men soaking wet, and the rest on a drying course again. This does not help you get
a clear picture. Because he rode on a wet track Flecha is now one of our most important victims, even though he rode very
well. We had two guys riding completely dry. Mathew Hayman and Laurens ten Dam. Mathew was not in top shape and Laurens just
did not ride a good prologue. So unfortunately we were unable to benefit from the dry roads. But we are happy the tour has
started and everyone is still in one piece."
Gerolsteiner's team manager Hans-Michael Holczer was very satisfied with Stefan Schumacher's third place. Holczer said:
"I am satisfied with 'Schumis' result. Five seconds behind a specialist is really ok. Surely Stefan showed himself today."
Stefan Schumacher said: "Of course one is a bit annoyed when you are only five seconds behind and maybe did not
take every curve with full risk."
Schumacher added: "I was really satisfied with the result. I didn't really know how good my legs already are.
But they were good. I hope it will continue this way. At least the result gives me self-confidence."