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Matthews Sprints to Top-10 at Milan-San Remo!

18 March 2018

Teams/Riders

The first monumental classic of the 2018 season, the 109th edition of Milan-San Remo, was a wet, windy and hard-fought battle for Team Sunweb Saturday, with the team’s leader Michael Matthews sprinting to a well-earned top-10 finish in Italy on his TCR Advanced SL. At nearly 300km and 8 hours long, it was an impressive performance for Matthews in just his second race of the season. The Auss...

The first monumental classic of the 2018 season, the 109th edition of Milan-San Remo, was a wet, windy and hard-fought battle for Team Sunweb Saturday, with the team’s leader Michael Matthews sprinting to a well-earned top-10 finish in Italy on his TCR Advanced SL.

At nearly 300km and 8 hours long, it was an impressive performance for Matthews in just his second race of the season. The Aussie missed some early season racing with a fractured shoulder.

“I think it was a good day,” Matthews said. “For my second race of the season the feelings are really good and my shoulder felt OK today, which is already a big improvement from the last few days.”

Known as “La Classicissima” (The Spring Classic) in Italy, the 294km Milan-San Remo is the longest of the spring classics. One of five monumental classics, it’s usually a race for the sprinters with a mostly flat course—and it often comes down to a selection made on two climbs near the finish, the Cipressa and the Poggio.

Team Sunweb rode a strong race and had five riders in position going into the decisive final kilometers. But Italian all-rounder Vincenzo Nibali, winner of the 2014 Tour de France, attacked on the Poggio and ended up holding off the sprinters to take the solo win.

“I think we rode a really good race,” said Matthews, who sprinted to the top-10 finish wearing his Rivet aero helmet. “We were hoping for a bit more speed on the Cipressa and Poggio, but with the headwind it made the race hard for the pure sprinters. I tried to place an attack on the Poggio but it wasn’t enough to make a difference. I then started the sprint and maybe went a bit early, but I thought all or nothing to catch Nibali and go for the win.”

Matthews ended up finishing seventh. “I had good legs and I tried, so all in all it’s a good day and I can look forward to the next races,” he said.

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