Australian Michael Matthews added to the medal haul for Team Sunweb riders racing on Giant bikes at the 2017 UCI Road World Championships, sprinting to a bronze medal in Sunday’s elite men’s road race in Bergen, Norway.
The 26-year-old put in a strong effort racing on his TCR Advanced SL bike and wearing the Giant Pursuit aero road helmet, finishing the 267km race in an elite group of 26 riders at the front and snatching the podium spot.
After the race, Matthews said he was disappointed at being edged out by Peter Sagan, who captured his third world championship for Slovakia, and Norwegian Alexander Kristoff, who took silver, but the Aussie was still pleased to be on the podium.
Explaining his tactics on the decisive final climb up Salmon Hill, and in the closing kilometers, Matthews told Cyclingnews.com, “It was a pretty hectic and there were a lot of attacks going inside the final five kilometers. I just tried to play it cool and save my legs for the sprint. I was in a good position with around 500 meters to go but I got a little bit swamped by Sagan and one of the Czech riders. I tried to fight my way back between the last two corners but I wasted that energy when I needed it for the sprint.”
Despite his disappointment, the bronze medal capped off a sensational first year with Team Sunweb for Matthews. He won two stages at the Tour de France this year along with the points classification. He also posted stage wins at the Tour de Suisse and the Tour of the Basque Country, and was part of Team Sunweb’s world championship ride earlier this week in the team time trial.
Matthews also kept the medal streak going for Giant riders in Norway. Throughout the week at the Road World Championships, they managed to win a medal in every U23 and elite men's race. Here’s a look at the final medal tally:
Men’s Elite Team Time Trial: Gold, Team Sunweb
Under-23 Men’s Individual Time Trial: Gold, Mikkel Bjerg (Denmark/Team Giant-Castelli)
Elite Men’s Individual Time Trial: Gold, Tom Dumoulin (The Netherlands/Team Sunweb)
Under-23 Men’s Road Race: Silver, Lennard Kamna (Germany/Team Sunweb)
Elite Men’s Road Race: Bronze, Michael Matthews (Australia/Team Sunweb)