“I have not heard anything yet. That will happen tonight or tomorrow morning,” said Tim Merlier (28) after his time trial about his role in Thursday’s potential sprinter’s stage.

Alpecin-Fenix ​​therefore has to weigh up every opportunity to sprint. “We know that there are two of us and that we both have to get chances. I can agree with it.”

“I already have a stage win. Jasper (Philipsen) was disappointed yesterday, but we did what we had to do. It’s no shame to be beaten by Cavendish.”

Merlier already won the Giro and the Tour this year. Why not 3 in a row in the Vuelta? “I was asked a lot about it yesterday in the peloton, but that will be decided later.”

“Finishing in Paris and sprinting on the Champs-Elysées is a childhood dream, but it will be difficult to get there.”

How did Jasper Philipsen (23) feel after his 3rd place yesterday? “We are only satisfied with a win”, he responded to Tuesday’s sprint.

“At the highest level, everything has to be 200 percent. I am now behind Tim and Mathieu, hopefully I can make up for that in the coming days.”

Philipsen says that his legs “exploded” yesterday and that he did not have his best sprint. Will he get a second chance tomorrow?

“They take a good look at that in our team and there are agreements about that. We try to fulfill them.”

“Whether it is a difficult situation? It is never great fun if you go to a big round with 2 sprinters. But Tim is driving a very strong season.”

“In the long run I should not be inferior to him, but this is not my best year yet.”

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