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Matthews nets second breakthrough stage win during the Vuelta a Espana

By:
Alasdair Fotheringham
Published:
September 15, 2013, 22:15,
Updated:
September 15, 2013, 23:17
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, September 16, 2013
Race:
Vuelta a España, Stage 21
Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge)

Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge)

  • Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge)
  • Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) claimed the final stage of the 2013 Vuelta a Espana
  • Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) was one of five first-time Grand Tour stage winners in the first 10 days.

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Second bunch sprint victory for young Australian

If Michael Matthews' first bunch sprint win for Orica-GreenEdge in the Vuelta a Espana's stage 5 was something of a surprise - but well-deserved nonetheless - his second, in Madrid and two lengths clear of America's Tyler Farrar represented the confirmation that a new young sprinter has arrived in town.

Matthews' second stage win, coming at the end of his first Grand Tour, was another big step up for the 22-year-old, and he took it in style, outgunning Farrar (Garmin-Sharp) and Germany's Niklas Arndt (Argos-Shimano) with a long sprint up the centre of Madrid's Castellana avenue. It took him clear enough for the Australian to raise his arms even before he reached the finish.

"A win like this, you remember it for the rest of your life," Matthews said after conclusively proving he knows how to go the distance in three-week stage races. "I've only got four teammates with me here now but they put me in the perfect position and kept me out of the wind."

"I was still with one leadout rider with one kilometre to go, where I was fourth wheel already, and I then got the perfect leadout. I was second wheel with 200 metres to go. I was in exactly the right position to do my job for the final."

Simply getting through a Grand Tour is a major achievement for a young rider like Matthews, and he said he had had some rough moments. "The hardest day of the Vuelta was the one to Sierra Nevada [stage 10], that really scarred me," he said.

"There was not any real reason, it was hard but so were other stages, but I really didn't have the best day on a bike there."

Matthews only found out on Saturday night that he will be doing the world championships for Australia, and he said he did not wish to dwell on that upcoming challenge just yet.

"First I want to celebrate this, getting two stage wins in my first Grand Tour, it's a dream come true to do that. I'll start to think about the Worlds a little later."

bike_boy More than 1 year ago
It's quite clear Michael Matthews is the sprinter OGE need to put the focus on. Goss has underdelivered and this guy is much more versatile.
philjthommo More than 1 year ago
What a great victory for MM. He even had time to sit up and celebrate before he hit the line which is quite impressive in a sprint.
rocket man More than 1 year ago
Bad luck aside I can see him getting a TDF start next year, then we can see how he goes against the big boys.
Marc Freemantle More than 1 year ago
Maybe I am missing something but he used the entire road swaying all over the place ! and we complain about Cav this should have been a disqualification as he clearly blocked Farrar.
Cragz01 More than 1 year ago
If you look at the overhead Farrar wasn't blocked and couldn't even hold Matthews' wheel even when he had the advantage of a slipstream. Farrar didn't protest so he obviously didn't feel he was blocked.