After the abandon of Cav, we've had to completely refocus. In ideal circumstances we would have went into the second stage possibly with the yellow jersey, all optimistic, and maybe with a little bit of a headache from the celebration yesterday. But, it did not happen. So we have to adapt and change our game plan. It's not like we had this scenario in our desk, "if we don't have Cav, what do we do?" But at the end of the day we have to realize we have eight world-class riders.
All eight riders showed before they can win races in different terrains and course. Last year Jan Bakelants won a stage and wore the yellow jersey. This year, Niki Terpstra won Paris-Roubaix. We're going to hit some similar situations there. Tony Martin is obviously the man for the time trial, but we can't forget that he dropped people in Vuelta al Pais Vasco and also won a road stage. I know nobody has forgotten that stage last year at La Vuelta a Espana where he was just meters away from a solo stage victory. Matteo Trentin was a Tour de France stage winner last year. These are just a few examples. So, we can look at all eight names and know they all proved themselves. For me, this morning, it was a little bit like we have a super strong body, but we have to realize the head is still there too. We are a team and we have to use the weapons we still have to attack opportunities in the OPQS way. We will battle to be present in the actions that suit us.
It was really helpful this morning that Cav came and spoke with the team on the bus. He was really in pain, but he still wanted to be there and be part of the team. He gave a speech and he encouraged the riders. Everyone was looking at him, feeling sorry for him, but he started to turn it around by addressing how strong they all are. Just look at the job they did yesterday. They can continue doing that and be successful. So, that was the starting point for righting the ship. He looked to the guys, thanked them, but also motivated them by saying he's watching them and they have the talent to make the most of the situation they were given. They have to prove it by results and I think we did that today with Kwiato already. To get third in such a hard stage is a good result and it boosts the rider morale again. It will keep us on the right path.
As for Kwiato, we want to keep him present in the stages that fit his skills. But we have to remember that he is also super young. It is more important that he focus on gaining experience. This is only his second grand tour. He went through the 2013 Tour and did well off adrenaline and talent. He got some impressive results. But we can't expect that same consistency over three weeks without compromising here and there. He is a very motivated rider and he always wants to win. We love this about him. He's a competitor. We want to embrace his personality and we are heading in that direction, but as for this Tour, it is more important to focus on experience and taking everything day-by-day. We have the full team to support him, but we have such a strong team that it does not need to be all on him to try and get results here.
We hope that Mark can take some time at home to recover with his family, and we are taking immediate steps to optimize the new situation we've found ourselves in. We are doing this for both the team and to show our respect to Mark. We will continue to fight with the team spirit we showed all season, having already won 43 road races.