Team Sunweb celebrate green and polka dot jersey Tour de France success
Matthews and Barguil claim first Grand Tour classification prizes
Six weeks after winning the pink jersey at the Giro d'Italia with Tom Dumoulin, Team Sunweb celebrated green, and polka dot jersey success at the Tour de France.
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Michael Matthews sealed the green points jersey to become the third Australian to win the classification while roommate Warren Barguil also won two stages on his way to the climber's polka dot jersey. The Frenchman was also awarded the combativity prize for his efforts across the three weeks of racing.
"We are all delighted with the performance from the entire team and so proud of what they have done," Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek said after the podium celebrations. "Everyone has worked so hard to take such a historical win and we couldn't be happier with their performance. From the staff through to the riders, everyone remained calm throughout it all, creating an environment which made it possible to get into this flow. It's a team performance and we couldn't have done it without each and every rider."
Barguil won the first of Sunweb's stages on Bastille Day into Foix, a handful of days after losing in Chambery in a photo finish, and added a second atop the Izoard to seal the polka dot jersey. Matthews won the first of his stages the day after Barguil in Rodez, adding a second two racing days later in Romans-sur-Isère. Despite taking the green jersey off the shoulder when Marcel Kittel was forced to abandon, the Australian proved a worthy winner of the classification and explained he is still coming to terms with the feat.
"It's been a rollercoaster with a lot of highs and lows. The second week was when mine and Warren's dreams started to come true," said the 26-year-old. "We more or less took it in turns with the wins and continued the momentum together, along with the rest of the team. To bring these beautiful jerseys to Paris is really something special and a moment I will remember forever."
Barguil was likewise in disbelief after making two visits to the Paris podium. A two-time stage winner at the 2013 Vuelta a Espana, Barguil hadn't won a race since his breakthrough neo-pro season and explained he will never forget his 2017 Tour.
"It's still so hard to believe what we have achieved. It's been such an amazing Tour de France and I've loved every minute of it. The climbs were really tough and it was such a battle to get this jersey. I will enjoy this victory for the rest of my life, it's a dream come true," he said. "My dream was to win a stage of the Tour de France. Two stage wins and the polka dot jersey, that's beyond my dreams. It's been an exceptional Tour. Everything's crazy: riding on the Champs-Elysées with the polka dot jersey, being on the podium in front of the Arc de Triomphe."
The team had previously worn the yellow jersey and won four stages of the 2013 and 2014 Tour de France's with Marcel Kittel. To have won four stages and the two classifications, CEO Iwan Spekenbrink explained he was extremely satisfied with the performance of all nine-riders.
"We can be extremely proud of what we've achieved together over the last three weeks," Spekenbrink said. "It came down to having everybody committed to the exact same goals, to having an intelligent plan on how to achieve those goals and everybody committing to that plan, then working together to execute it."
The challenge now for Team Sunweb is to add to its Giro and Tour success at the Vuelta a Espana over August and early-September.
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