and here's what they had to say afterwards
'All six Giant-Shimano riders admitted to being surprised by the difficulty of stage two through the Pennine Hills into Sheffield. "I think I'll wish Chris Froome a lot of good luck for the GC fight that morning," said Kittel, laughing as he did so. "We did 100km today and clocked up 1,600 metres of climbing. If you double that [across the whole stage], then that’s a lot of altitude gained, as much perhaps as in some of the Alpine stages."
When asked about that day's final climb of Jenkin Road, which has a pitch at 33 per cent, Koen de Kort said: "I was considering walking it. It's tough – very steep and pretty long as well. I couldn't believe how it kept going. If the race is not completely broken to pieces before it, then it's certainly going to happen on there. I don't think there will be a very big group at the finish after that."
"I think it's harder than Amstel Gold," he said in response to a question comparing the Dutch Classic with the Sheffield stage. "I think it's even harder than Liège," quipped Degenkolb.
Kittel confessed he had been impressed by the reception he and his team-mates had received while doing their recon. "Everyone has been very polite, even when we've blocked the roads," he said. "When you look around there are banners everywhere, bicycles hanging on walls. I think that's really cool and that in July we'll have a really big cycling party here."'