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Michael Matthews Interview at Tour Down Under

Matthews Moves Up to 2nd at TDU

20 January 2012

In a decisive day at the Santos Tour Down Under stage race in Australia, Rabobank rider Michael Matthews moved into second overall, just 2 seconds behind new race leader Martin Kohler.

The six-day Tour Down Under is the first race on the 2012 WorldTour calendar. It’s also the biggest event in Matthews’ home nation of Australia, so the 21-year-old second-year pro is keen on a top finish here.

A group of about 40 riders, including Matthews, split the field in Thursday’s 130km stage from Norwood to Tanunda, ending the GC hopes for some of the sprinters. Matthews rode his Giant TCR Advanced SL to an impressive fifth-place finish behind his former Rabobank teammate Oscar Freire, who won the stage.

“The jersey I want is Ochre,” Matthews told Cyclingnews.com, referring to the leader’s jersey, after the finish of Stage 4. “It’s unfortunate that I missed it today by only two seconds.”

Stage 5, which includes the big climb at Old Wilunga Hill, is expected to be decisive in determining the overall GC. The Tour Down Under then concludes on Sunday, with a circuit race in Adelaide.