Team Sunweb rider Michael Matthews is off to a flying start at the Tour de Romandie stage race, taking the win in Tuesday’s prologue stage of the six-day WorldTour race.
Matthews suffered a shoulder injury this spring but has returned to top form the past few weeks with strong rides at the Amstel Gold Race and Flèche-Wallonne classics. After careful preparation, he blitzed the 4km Tour de Romandie prologue through the streets of Fribourg, Switzerland, on his Trinity Advanced Pro TT bike. Wearing the Giant Rivet TT helmet, Matthews attacked the technical course, posting a one-second advantage over second-place finisher Tom Bohli.
“I had a rocky start to the season and things were difficult with my broken shoulder, but I finally feel like things are on the up again,” Matthews said. “I didn’t know how well I would feel after the weekend, but I gave my best and I’m really pleased that I could finish it off with the win.”
Matthews also had the advantage of a new prototype rear disc wheel. Several key riders from Team Sunweb have been testing and racing next-generation WheelSystems from Giant, including the one Matthews rode to his first win of the season.
“It was a beautiful course and I had a lot of fun out there today,” he said. “I really enjoy TTs, especially ones like this where I can use my power. Tonight we’ll just enjoy this win and tomorrow we’ll focus on what we’re going to do next.”
Team Sunweb coach Tom Veelers said Matthews prepared well and rode the prologue to perfection. “After a recon and analysis from our scientific expert we had a specific, solid plan of how to tackle the course,” he said. “Michael was technically good on the corners and strong on the climbs, and really determined to take the win today.”
The six-day Tour of Romandie continues Wednesday with the first road stage, a 166km race from Fribourg to Delémont.