Matthews encouraged by first elite World's finish

After failing to finish in both the 2012 and 2013 World's, Michael Matthews said he was more than satisfied both with how he fullfilled his part in Australia's team plan and with his results in the 2014 race, where he took 14th.

Considered a strong outside bet for the win in some quarters, Matthews assigned role had been to wait for a bunch dash for the line whilst Simon Gerrans had to go for the late breaks.

As things turned out, Gerrans claimed silver after forming part of a small attack that went away over the Mirador behind Michal Kwiatkowski of Poland, just ahead of Matthews chasing group.

"The idea was for Gerro [Simon Gerrans] to go with the attack over the final climb, with the guys like [Alejandro] Valverde, and for me to wait for the sprint," Matthews told reporters afterwards.

"For me I was hoping it could come back together and I could go for the sprint, but in the end one guy [Kwiatkowski] stayed away and Gerro got the best place possible."

"I think it was a really good ride from the whole team, we all did our job, what we planned to do. Then Gerro had to go for it, not quite for the win, but he got second."

After a stellar year in which he has taken tough Vuelta and Giro stages and led both races as well , Matthews said he was pleased to be able to take a solid result in the Worlds after what appeared, in his case, to be a fairly smooth, if wet, race.

"I didn't find it too bad, it was quite safe actually, all the riders didn't take too many risks, there weren't any bad crashes, I think everybody was quite respectful to each other and took it easy when there was dangerous conditions."

"The climbing didn't really faze me, the Tour of Poland and the Vuelta was good preparation for here and the climbs didn't even hurt me at all, the acceleration from the pure climbers hurt a little bit but other than that it was fine."

As Matthews pointed out, his 2014 peformance represents a solid step in the right direction for the future. "It's my first elite World Championships that I've been in at the finish so it's really good for me to be in this calibre of race."

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