World's: post-race comments

The top men have their say

Pat McQuaid (UCI president)

"To borrow a famous expression, Veni, Vidi, Vici: Paolo Bettini came, he saw, he conquered. A rider who can win a race like he did today is a classic, magnificent rider. He won a classic race, which finished with the best five riders in the front. I can only give him the highest praise. Likewise, Stefan Schumacher was under great pressure and he can be proud. From a UCI point of view, we're very happy tonight. We saw great crowds and great racing. Today was all about the racing."

Alexandr Kolobnev (Russia) 2nd at same time as Bettini

"I knew the others were closing from behind and we couldn't hesitate, but I tried to stay calm. I was first into the last bend because I knew not there wasn't much room to start sprinting. Unfortunately Paolo is faster and stronger than I am."

Stefan Schumacher (Germany) 3rd at same time as Bettini

"I said I wanted to win the world's and I did my very best. Over the past two months I've been doing everything, giving everything to get ready for this race, but it was just impossible to beat Bettini today. I sensed on the last climb that he was going to be too strong, but I still felt good and wanted to try my luck in the sprint. Unfortunately my legs started to feel a little so I just tried to get a medal. To have achieved that in my home town it's a big satisfaction."

Frank Schleck (Lux) 4th in same time as Bettini

"Naturally I'm very disappointed to be so close and walk away with nothing. I knew that it would be all but impossible to beat Bettini, and I also knew that Schumacher is a good sprinter, but I still hoped to get a medal. I had good legs all day, and stayed out of trouble, so I was ready for the final laps. But to be fourth is the most frustrating result possible."

Cadel Evans (Aus) 5th at same time as Bettini

"It was a bit cat and mouse, with everyone on their own. I wanted to have a good hit at a kilometre out and I went to go, but it's really narrow there and everyone was looking at each other, so I couldn't even get a run to have a go. What I wanted to use for the sprint I used up there. I didn't have anything for the finish. I'm not going to complain, I've had a pretty decent year I'd say, so to finish fifth here gives me promise for Lombardy and then I'm going on holiday."

Philippe Gilbert (Bel) 8th at 08" from Bettini

"There was great spirit in the whole team, and certainly more unity than there is in Belgian politics at the moment [sic]. When Bettini attacked and moved away with the four others, I was a bit too far back so I couldn't close. Afterwards Björn Leukemans did everything he could to close the gap but it was too late, although we could see them just 100 metres away. Bettini is the greatest: with this result, his place in history is even more secure than it was before."

David Millar (GB) 54th at 1'05"

"I just didn't have the strength to do it. I'm happy just to have finished. It was so hard. The Italians were very aggressive to today, they really made the race. I was at the front on the climbs three times next to Paolo, and when Paolo went it was just like, 'are you joking?' It was like he was just playing with us. It was one of the hardest races I've ever done. I'm quite satisfied because I haven't done a road race since the ENECO Tour. When the winning move went, I was right there, next to Paolo, but it wasn't even an option to go with him. I was just too tired. I love this race, though. I just love it."

Egon Van Kessel (Dutch national team director)

"I have no idea what [Robert] Gesink was doing in the break early in the race. It was stupid, and I want to talk to him about it. The plan was for him to wait until the closing stages. The last lap was quite simple, but the guys just weren't good enough to finish as we wanted."

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