Sterling performance from Matthews

Stirling normally throws up some classic finishes during the Tour Down Under and today was no exception. While it was one world champion, Cadel Evans, who showed his mettle in the Adelaide Hills town last year it was another, Michael Matthews, who demonstrated how an U23 world champ can serve it to the big boys.

The 20-year-old Rabobank neo-pro comfortably out-kicked André Greipel and fellow Australian Matthew Goss in the tough uphill finish and he was understandably ecstatic at taking a win in his first outing at a World Tour event - and on home soil, too.

"It's one of the most difficult races in this tour so it's really great to win this one and thanks to my team," said Matthews after the finish.

"With about a kilometre to go I felt pretty good and I had a look around and there was only a couple of sprinters there. I was a bit worried about Gossy because he's really fast and he's won a stage already but I just had the legs in the end I guess."

While Graeme Brown is Rabobank's captain for the event, the Dutch squad had to change tack given that the elder Australian was caught up behind a crash again today and it may have hurt his chances of being up there for the sprint.

"In the last three kilometres Tom [Leezer] was leading me all the way to the front. I was like 50th wheel with four kilometres to go and then he put me in perfect position for the sprint," said Matthews.

"Tom basically got me from about halfway down the bunch up the front and all the other boys were just behind me yelling at me making sure I had food and water. I couldn't have done it without them.

"With about a lap to go I wasn't feeling that good but my team came back and geed me up and they were just amazing the whole race, getting me motivated for the sprint and saying, 'You can do it' so I pulled it off for them at the end."

Time to lick the wounds

After the drama of yesterday's crashes there were two non-starters this morning in the suburb of Unley: owing to injuries sustained during stage two, Chris Sutton (Team Sky) and Bernard Sulzberger (UNiSA-Australia) were forced to withdraw from this year's race.

And for the same reason - yesterday's carnage - the peloton wasn't too keen to offer much resistance early. Just four kilometres after the 10km neutral section, Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) successfully attacked and soon had three other riders for company, the quartet quickly establishing a lead nudging three minutes.

The break's advantage would reach the five-minute mark as Aleksandr Kuschynski (Katusha), Luis Pasamontes (Movistar), Luke Durbridge (UniSA) and De Gendt contested the intermediate sprints at McLaren FLat and Echunga. Kuschynski prevailed in both but Durbridge took maximum points in the KOM on Germantown Hill after 80 clicks, netting the most aggressive rider prize in the process.

"I had a go. It was a solid day and you never know if it's going to come back or not," said Durbridge after the finish. "We had a good try and saw how we could go but unfortunately we got caught.

"It was good we kept the KOM in the team and the most aggressive is just a good jersey to wear for tomorrow as a reward for being in the breakaway today."

After catching the break with 20km remaining in the stage it was time for the likes of Saxo Bank's Richie Porte and RadioShack's Ben Hermans to have a dig on the finishing circuits around Stirling late in the stage but to no avail; with the sprinters' teams controlling the day they weren't going to let any plucky moves succeed and eventually it was a plucky young neo-pro, Matthews, who prevailed.

"It's parallel with the world championships because the guys you are racing against are the best in the world so under 23 is under 23's but this is the elite level and it's basically the world championships again," explained Matthews.

"Coming into one of the biggest pro teams in the world puts a bit of pressure on you to get some results but I was just here to work and help the team so it's good to get the result in the end.

"I kept an eye out for them [Goss and McEwen] because they're all brilliant riders they all could have won today so I kept an eye out for them just to see how they were. We had the DS on the radio and everything so we knew where they were all the time. I just had the legs in the end to get it."


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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michael Matthews (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team3:11:47
2André Greipel (Ger) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 1 - Cell 2
3Matthew Goss (Aus) HTC-HighroadRow 2 - Cell 2
4Simon Gerrans (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 3 - Cell 2
5Luke Roberts (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 4 - Cell 2
6Francisco Ventoso (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Gorka Izagirre (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 6 - Cell 2
8Allan Davis (Aus) AstanaRow 7 - Cell 2
9Blel Kadri (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 8 - Cell 2
10Simone Ponzi (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 9 - Cell 2
11Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Stijn Vandenbergh (Bel) Katusha TeamRow 11 - Cell 2
13Manuele Mori (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 12 - Cell 2
14Jose Joaquin Rojas (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 13 - Cell 2
15Davide Vigano (Ita) Leopard TrekRow 14 - Cell 2
16Sergey Lagutin (Uzb) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Robbie McEwen (Aus) Team Radio ShackRow 16 - Cell 2
18Ben Hermans (Bel) Team Radio ShackRow 17 - Cell 2
19Baden Cooke (Aus) Saxo Bank SungardRow 18 - Cell 2
20Julien Loubet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 19 - Cell 2
21Greg Henderson (NZl) Sky ProcyclingRow 20 - Cell 2
22Jose Ivan Gutierrez (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Ben Swift (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 22 - Cell 2
24Elia Viviani (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 23 - Cell 2
25David Lopez (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:07
26Francesco Reda (Ita) Quick Step Cycling TeamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Mirko Selvaggi (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 26 - Cell 2
28Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 27 - Cell 2
29Inaki Isasi (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 28 - Cell 2
30Addy Engels (Ned) Quick Step Cycling TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Ivan Velasco (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 30 - Cell 2
32Mathieu Perget (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 31 - Cell 2
33Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 32 - Cell 2
34Laurens ten Dam (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 33 - Cell 2
35Cameron Wurf (Aus) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 34 - Cell 2
36Simon Zahner (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 35 - Cell 2
37Cameron Meyer (Aus) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 36 - Cell 2
38Yuriy Krivtsov (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 37 - Cell 2
39Andriy Grivko (Ukr) AstanaRow 38 - Cell 2
40Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 39 - Cell 2
41Mathew Hayman (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 40 - Cell 2
42Serguei Ivanov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 41 - Cell 2
43Brett Lancaster (Aus) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 42 - Cell 2
44Mitchell Docker (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 43 - Cell 2
45Wesley Sulzberger (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 44 - Cell 2
46Hayden Roulston (NZl) HTC-HighroadRow 45 - Cell 2
47Stuart O'Grady (Aus) Leopard TrekRow 46 - Cell 2
48Jack Bobridge (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:00:13
49Rob Ruijgh (Ned) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 48 - Cell 2
50Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick Step Cycling TeamRow 49 - Cell 2
51Jonathan Cantwell (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 50 - Cell 2
52Steve Houanard (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 51 - Cell 2
53Geraint Thomas (GBr) Sky ProcyclingRow 52 - Cell 2
54Martin Kohler (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 53 - Cell 2
55Davide Cimolai (Ita) Liquigas-CannondaleRow 54 - Cell 2
56Tanel Kangert (Est) AstanaRow 55 - Cell 2
57Ruben Perez (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 56 - Cell 2
58Michael Rogers (Aus) Sky ProcyclingRow 57 - Cell 2
59Juan Horrach (Spa) Katusha TeamRow 58 - Cell 2
60Kristijan Koren (Slo) Liquigas-Cannondale0:00:25
61Manuel Cardoso (Por) Team Radio Shack0:00:31
62Tom Leezer (Ned) Rabobank Cycling Team0:00:32
63Alan Marangoni (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale0:00:46
64Richie Porte (Aus) Saxo Bank SungardRow 63 - Cell 2
65Jos van Emden (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 64 - Cell 2
66William Clarke (Aus) Leopard TrekRow 65 - Cell 2
67Denis Galimzyanov (Rus) Katusha TeamRow 66 - Cell 2
68Nicki Sörensen (Den) Saxo Bank Sungard0:00:50
69Miguel Minguez (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:00:54
70Simon Clarke (Aus) Astana0:00:57
71Alberto Ongarato (Ita) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 70 - Cell 2
72Travis Meyer (Aus) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:00:59
73Alessandro Spezialetti (Ita) Lampre - ISD0:01:06
74David Tanner (Aus) Saxo Bank Sungard0:01:10
75Gerald Ciolek (Ger) Quick Step Cycling TeamRow 74 - Cell 2
76Adam Hansen (Aus) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:01:19
77Angel Madrazo (Spa) Movistar Team0:01:20
78Jurgen Van De Walle (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto0:01:48
79Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 78 - Cell 2
80Olivier Kaisen (Bel) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 79 - Cell 2
81Bruno Pires (Por) Leopard Trek0:02:41
82Aitor Perez Arrieta (Spa) Lampre - ISDRow 81 - Cell 2
83Robbie Hunter (RSA) Team Radio Shack0:03:11
84Lance Armstrong (USA) Team Radio ShackRow 83 - Cell 2
85Timothy Roe (Aus) BMC Racing TeamRow 84 - Cell 2
86Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Vacansoleil-DCM Pro Cycling TeamRow 85 - Cell 2
87Luis Pasamontes (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Michael Hepburn (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 87 - Cell 2
89Vicente Reynes (Spa) Omega Pharma-LottoRow 88 - Cell 2
90Tyler Farrar (USA) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 89 - Cell 2
91Stefan Denifl (Aut) Leopard TrekRow 90 - Cell 2
92Yevgeniy Nepomnyachshiy (Kaz) AstanaRow 91 - Cell 2
93Alexander Kristoff (Nor) BMC Racing TeamRow 92 - Cell 2
94Amaël Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing TeamRow 93 - Cell 2
95Dimitri Champion (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 94 - Cell 2
96Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Euskaltel-EuskadiRow 95 - Cell 2
97Nikolay Trusov (Rus) Katusha Team0:04:19
98Luke Durbridge (Aus) UNI SA - AustraliaRow 97 - Cell 2
99Maxim Gourov (Kaz) AstanaRow 98 - Cell 2
100Alfredo Balloni (Ita) Lampre - ISDRow 99 - Cell 2
101Martin Pedersen (Den) Leopard TrekRow 100 - Cell 2
102Vitaliy Buts (Ukr) Lampre - ISD0:05:15
103Davide Malacarne (Ita) Quick Step Cycling Team0:05:28
104Daniel Sesma (Spa) Euskaltel-Euskadi0:06:07
105Julian Dean (NZl) Team Garmin-Cervelo0:06:14
106Graeme Brown (Aus) Rabobank Cycling Team0:06:36
107Pieter Weening (Ned) Rabobank Cycling TeamRow 106 - Cell 2
108Kristof Goddaert (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:06:39
109Sebastian Haedo (Arg) Saxo Bank SungardRow 108 - Cell 2
110Valentin Iglinskiy (Kaz) AstanaRow 109 - Cell 2
111Brian Vandborg (Den) Saxo Bank SungardRow 110 - Cell 2
112Marco Bandiera (Ita) Quick Step Cycling TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
113Aleksandr Kuschynski (Blr) Katusha TeamRow 112 - Cell 2
114Matthew Wilson (Aus) Team Garmin-CerveloRow 113 - Cell 2
115Bernhard Eisel (Aut) HTC-Highroad0:07:20
116Danny Pate (USA) HTC-Highroad