Matthews to target stage win in Suisse as Tour selection looms

Australian not concentrating on Tour de France green

Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) will target stage wins in the Tour de Suisse this week as he looks to cement a place in the team for the Tour de France.

The Australian has not raced since the Ardennes Classics in April but after a stint of altitude training heads into the Tour de Suisse with one eye on the Tour in July.

"The objective is to win a stage," his team boss Matt White told the press.

Matthews, Simon Gerrans and the Yates brothers are on the team's long list for the Tour de France, although the participation of Simon Yates is still far from clear.

Matthews, who rode the Tour de France last year to gain experience, would target the intermediate stages should he be selected. According to White he would not target the Green Jersey, although the team boss admitted that the strategy could change as the race evolved.

"He's in good shape and he always comes out of altitude in good shape. Once we finalise the team, the objective is that we win a stage. There's no other objective. We have no one riding for jersey or GC. The stage is the goal."

"We'll make our decision after the Dauphine and Suisse.

"We don't have anyone for the pure sprint stages so we're targeting the intermediate and mountain stages."

Matthews, Gerrans, and the Yates brothers are all out of contract at the end of the season with the team in negotiations and discussions with riders about the 2017 roster. White stressed that such discussions would not impede or affect the selection of his Tour team and that if riders were to move to other squad, it would not change his selection policy.

"For me the goal is what's best for the team and to win a stage. Where people end up the following year is no concern. We want to win a stage of the Tour so I'll bring the best guys and the best mix of people."

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