Matthews moved from Orica to Sunweb in the offseason and got a new bike brand in the deal, as did all of the Sunweb riders when bike sponsor Giant introduced the TCR Advanced SL, the brand's flagship model that will be used by Sunweb’s men’s roster throughout the 2017 road season.
Team Sunweb reaearch and development expert tom Davids spoke effusively about the new race machine.
"The Giant TCR has superior efficiency," Davids said. "It delivers the highest stiffness-to-weight ratio of any production road bike and is perfect for the hilly races and mountain stages. It allows our riders to attack steep climbs and perfectly manoeuvre technical descents."
Matthews will no doubt put that to the test when he tackles the Cipressa and the Poggio Saturday in Milan-San Remo before descending into San Remo for the anticipated sprint on the Via Roma.
"It easily reaches the 6.8kg UCI weight limit and still has the needed stiffness for fast accelerations, making it a perfect addition to the team’s equipment," Davids said of the new bike. "The combination of the latest carbon-fibre technology, the world’s most advanced manufacturing processes and an enormous amount of research and data analysis have led to what we believe is the world’s most competitive bike. We also believe that this machine gives us the competitive advantage that we have been aiming for, and specifically those races in which our team is targeting."
Matthews started his season earlier this month at Paris-Nice, where he cracked the top 10 four times but was unable to score a win or hit the podium. The 26-year-old Australian was 59th in Milan-San Remo last year, but he was third in 2015 when John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) won while riding for Team Sunweb's percursor, Giant-Alpecin.