The best of the rider quotes following stage six of the 2019 OVO Energy Tour of Britain, the Pershore individual time trial stage, won by Mitchelton-SCOTT’s Edoardo Affini.

Italian rider Affini claimed the biggest victory of his professional career today in Worcestershire in a stage that saw his team-mate Matteo Trentin lose the OVO Energy green jersey to Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon – Circus Cycling Team).

Edoardo Affini (Mitchelton-SCOTT)

Stage winner

“It’s amazing, it’s my second victory this year in my first season as a pro – at the start of the season I was not expecting that! For sure I’m really happy, especially because the field here was full of really good time trial riders. This gives me confidence.

“I was not really confident because every rider was looking like they were way faster than me at the time split. In the end it looked like I was really able to make the difference on the way back home and I think it worked well with my pacing. I just tried to keep some energy in the tank I just used everything I had on that section and it worked out well.

“I think the course was made well by the organisation: it was a bit technical but not too much and there was also space to do big speed. I think it was well balanced – it was not completely flat, so I think it was good for every time trial rider.”

Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon – Circus Cycling Team)

Seventh and OVO Energy green jersey leader

“I kind of surprised myself. The last real time trial I did was when I was a junior – that’s a long time ago. I’m really satisfied with the performance and I liked it out there today.”

On his chances of winning the race overall: “It’s going to be a hard race for sure over the next few days. Matteo [Trentin] is my closest opponent and he already showed that he’s fast in the finishes as well. With the bonus seconds, it’s going to be really tight battle until the last day.

“The riders from [Team] INEOS are also not that far behind and they have a really strong team here. They’ve already showed that. I think there a lot of riders who can still win the race.”

“Tomorrow is an uphill finish again so that suits me normally. I will try my best to be up at the front. I think the team already showed that we are quite a few strong riders here to control the race so I have confidence for tomorrow.”

Mark Cavendish (Team Dimension Data)

47th 

“It was nice; it’s your standard [10-mile] British time trial course. It’s good to open up – we’re used to doing longer stages with a hit out at the end, but I think if you didn’t have a hit out today you’d seize up. I like to just open myself a bit but I don’t go full gas because there are still two days left.”

Downloads and links

Click here for the stage report | Click here for full stage results