Tour de France green jersey winner Michael Matthews will lead Team Sunweb into Sunday's GP Ouest France-Plouay. The Australian is preparing for next month's World Championships in Bergen with post-Tour one-day WorldTour races as he recently told Cyclingnews.
"I have Plouay and Hamburg, the Canadian Classics and then Worlds. There are only a few more race days. I think the Worlds course suits me. We went and did a recon a few months ago and it's hard to say who it really suits because of the weather aspect, but it's going to be exciting for sure," he said.
Matthews was fourth at last year's edition of the race, second in the field sprint behind solo winner Oliver Naesen, and comes into the race off the back of third place in July's RideLondon-Surrey Classic. While Matthews is focused on the Worlds, he finished no lower than fifth at the quartet of RideLondon, Plouay, Quebec and Montreal races before riding to fourth at the Worlds.
Coming into the race off the back of a successful training camp and with the team backing in the 27-year-old, sports director Luke Roberts is expecting Matthews to shine.
"Despite the change in parcours, we expect the race to remain a race of attrition and for it to finish in a decimated bunch sprint," Roberts said. "Michael will be returning to competition after a high altitude training camp to lead Team Sunweb and will look to take a top 10 at this race. The rest of our squad are familiar in supporting Michael, as the line-up is very similar to our Tour de France squad that helped him to success there."
German leadout man Nikias Arndt and Dutch champion Ramon Sinkeldam will be key riders for Matthews in the final alongside Bert De Backer and Roy Curvers. Dutchman Albert Timmer will also be on hand to shepherd Matthews through the circuit race.
The team will be completed by Mike Teunissen and Simon Geschke.
Team Sunweb for GP Ouest France - Plouay: Nikias Arndt (Ger), Bert De Backer (Bel), Roy Curvers (Ned), Simon Geschke (Ger), Michael Matthews (Aus), Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned), Mike Teunissen (Ned) and Albert Timmer (Ned).