Matthews holds off Sutton for Cronulla victory

Sutton claims back-to-back NSW Grand Prix overall honours

Rabobank's Michael Matthews just got the better of local race favourite and series leader Chris Sutton (Sky) at the second race of the NSW Grand Prix at Cronulla on Sunday in a bunch sprint. The pair was separated by centimetres and Matthews looked as surprised as any to take the win, with the Canberra neo-pro planning to lead out former winner Graeme Brown to the line.

Brown's ambitions were scuppered by what he called "Mr Cramps."

Junior World omnium 2010 Australian Under 19 road champion Caleb Ewan (NSWIS) finished third by a similar margin to Sutton.

Matthews, who's only been back on the bike for the last fortnight following a six week break, said today's win would only be good for his confidence heading into the Australian summer season with the next big race starting January 1 at the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic.

"I just held it all the way to the end," he said at the finish. "I was pretty lucky, I probably went a little bit early, I didn't see anyone coming. It came down to a photo finish and I just held it on the line.

"It was good for the team to get a win here for the start of the [Australian] season – it's always good for the confidence."

Today's runner-up placing on the back of Saturday's win at Wollongong gave Sutton back-to-back overall honours.

"Full credit to Rabobank, Graeme Brown and Michael Matthews, they certainly had me fooled," Sutton explained post-race. "Michael hit out for the sprint and Browny let the wheel go a little bit and probably about 150 to go, I realised Graeme had nothing and I sprinted around him and got a good run at Michael but it was just a bit too late.

"It was a repeat of the finish two years ago with myself and Ben Kersten. Second, I would have loved to have won in Cronulla, home crit, but I can't complain, second's still good."

Škoda Men’s NSW Grand Prix Event 2 Cronulla
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michael Matthews (Rabobank)20 pts
2Chris Sutton (Team Sky)18 
3Caleb Ewan (NSWIS)16 
4Dean Windsor (Rapha Condor Sharp)15 
5Ben Kersten (Team Jayco-2XU)14 
6Jackson-Leigh Rathbone (Parramatta Race Team)13 
7Adam Phelan (Drapac Cycling Team)12 
8Graeme Brown (Rabobank)11 
Škoda Men’s NSW Grand Prix Overall
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Chris Sutton (Team Sky)38 pts
2Michael Matthews (Rabobank)30 
3Caleb Ewan (NSWIS)30 
4Ben Kersten (Team Jayco-2XU)30 
5Graeme Brown (Rabobank)29 
6Dean Windsor (Rapha Condor Sharp)28 
7Richard Lang (Jayco AIS)25 
8Jackson-Leigh Rathbone (Parramatta Race Team)23 

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