Matthews Delivers Win No. 3 For Team Sunweb at Tour!
Delivering once again on a strong team effort, Michael Matthews sprinted to his second stage victory in the Tour de France Tuesday in Romans-sur-Isère. The win marks the third for Team Sunweb, which continues to show its power in both the mountains and the sprint stages of this year’s Tour.
On a tough day of racing across the Massif Central and through the windswept Rhône Valley, Team Sunweb took charge, setting the pace in the peloton and then setting up Matthews to unleash his winning sprint with his TCR Advanced SL team bike and aerodynamic Giant Pursuit helmet. In the end, the 26-year-old Aussie won the 165km stage in a photo finish, edging out Norwegian Edvald Boasson Hagen and German John Degenkolb at the line.
“Normally when I’m in tours I can win one stage, but the second is always the hardest to get,” said Matthews after his victory, which was the team’s third including Frenchman Warren Barguil’s win in the mountains on Stage 13. “To get my second in three days, I don’t really know. I think it won’t really sink in until tomorrow morning.”
With the win, Matthews also closed the gap to the green jersey points leader Marcel Kittel. On a day that challenged teams and riders with two mountain climbs early, followed by stiff winds on rolling roads in the final 50km, the German rider was dropped from the lead group, spurring Team Sunweb to apply the pressure so that Matthews could gain points in the battle for the green jersey.
“When I heard that [Kittel] had been dropped by one minute over the top of the climb, we decided to start pulling,” Matthews said. “Because if he’s out of the race then it makes it easier for me to take the sprint. I took the intermediate and we got the final also. We got 50 points today.”
In addition to Matthews closing in on the green jersey, Barguil also has a solid hold on the polka-dot leader’s jersey in the mountains classification. Stage 17 on Wednesday will take riders into the Alps, on a tough day in the mountains featuring four categorized climbs including the Col de la Croix de Fer and the Col du Galibier.
Tuesday, July 18, 2017