Tour de France: Matthews wins in Rodez as Froome moves into yellow

Michael Matthews won the fight up the closing climb in Rodez to claim the Tour de France stage win for Team Sunweb. He charged past BMC Racing's Greg Van Avermaet to win by a bike length, with Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) in third.

Fabio Aru (Astana) was too far back in the field on the short, unranked climb to the finish line, and lost time, handing the yellow jersey back to Chris Froome (Sky). The British rider now leads by 19 seconds over Aru and 23 seconds over Romain Bardet (AG2R La Mondiale).

It was Sunweb's second consecutive stage win after Warren Barguil's stage 13 triumph, and Matthews' second career Tour de France stage win.

The race was marked early by a five man breakaway, with Thomas De Gendt the last rider caught with about 12km to go. Another small group formed near the end, but they were swept up as the Classics riders' teams powered their way up the steep 600 meters to the finish line.

Van Avermaet moved into the lead, preparing to repeat his 2015 success here, while John Degenkolb (Trek Segafredo) pulled on the left before suddenly losing power. Matthews had been on Van Avermaets' wheel and came around him ahead of the line.

Matthews and Van Avermaet were given the same time, and a high powered group finished only one second behind them, with not only Boasson Hagen but also Philippe Gilbert, Froome and Rigoberto Uran (Cannondale-Drapac).

"I think last time we finished here two years ago, I had four broken ribs and skin off all over my body, and it was one of the stages I was really targeting before I crashed," Matthews said after the finish. "Now, to come back on the same finish and to win like that, it's really a dream come true.

"We rode all day, and when we kept the breakaway so close, I knew it was going to be hard to have a lot of teammates in the final, because we had to ride quite hard to bring De Gendt back.

"It was a perfect day."

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One day after Froome seemed vulnerable on the short, fast stage in the Pyrenees, he returned to a position of dominance, positioned perfectly in the run-in while Aru floundered well behind.

Froome said getting back into the maillot jaune was a "very nice surprise".

"I never thought I'd get the jersey back on a stage like today," Froome said. "Thanks to my teammates for keeping me in front, Kwiatkowski did a great job. The team always stayed very close front, and taking 20 seconds is enormous, it's the same as Peyragudes. Every seconds counts. It's a fight for every second this year."

How it unfolded

Once again there was a breakaway from the very start in Blagnac and once again it was initiated by Thomas Voeckler (Direct Energie), whose opening salvo was less successful on Friday. This time the Frenchman was joined by Maxime Bouet (Team Fortuneo-Oscaro), Timo Roosen (LottoNL-Jumbo), and fellow breakaway veteran Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal), and their move stuck.

About 4km later they had 1:25 on the field and Reto Hollenstein (Katusha-Alpecin) made the late decision to join the group. It took him a while, and the lead group waited for him to join up.

De Gendt was a good threat to take the stage win if the group stayed away, so the peloton was watchful not to let that happen. The gap never hit the three-minute mark, usually staying closer to two minutes.

With 125km to go, the day's intermediate sprint beckoned. De Gendt outsprinted Bouet to take the maximum points. There was more action some two minutes later when the peloton crossed over. Quick-Step Floors started lining up early, with Michael Matthews (Sunweb) on Kittel's wheel. The German finishing just ahead of the Australian to add to his tally in the green jersey competition.

The finale today was one for the Classics riders, and it was easy to see who had their eye on the big prize. Greg Van Avermaet, who won here two years ago, had the support of his BMC teammates, and they shared the work with Sunweb, riding for Matthews. Bahrain-Merida thought Sonny Colbrelli had a chance and they too lingered near the front.

The gap hovered just under the two-minute mark with 50km left as the parcours hit the rolling terrain outside of Rodez. The first ranked climb of the day was the category 3 Cote du Viaduc du Vlaur. Roosen punctured on the ascent but made his way safely back to the front group. De Gendt claimed the points at the top, ahead of Voeckler.

The second climb, the category 3 Cote de Centres came not long after, and Roosen's chase cost him. He fought his way past Bouet as the Frenchman was dropped, but soon fell off the pace, too. Hollenstein was next to pay the toll for his efforts. De Gendt took the mountain points ahead of Voeckler again.

Further back, Kittel was already struggling and was caught out behind the field. Teammate Fabio Sabatini joined him to keep him from falling too far behind, and in time a small grupetto formed.

De Gendt had his eye on his second career Tour stage win and soon dropped Voeckler. With 20km to go, he had 59 seconds in hand. An unranked climb with less than 15km did De Gendt in, with his lead shrinking constantly. With 12.5km left, he was overtaken by the field.

World time trial champion Tony Martin (Katusha) jumped to the front and built up a few meters lead with Tony Gallopin (Lotto Soudal) before Sunweb pulled him in, too. Maurits Lammertink was the next Katusha rider to go, with BMC's Damiano Caruso right behind him. Nikias Arndt of Sunweb jumped to join them, as did Fortuneo-Oscar's Pierre Luc Perichon.

Sunweb and BMC were happy to let them go, and stopped their lead work, with Sky jumping in to take over at the front of the small peloton. The four leaders had only a small gap on the field but seemed determined to stay away, with Perichon particularly active.

Lammertink survived as the other three faded, but he too was soon gobbled up. Quick-Step led the charge on the technical, curving, high-speed finale.

AG2R La Mondiale's Oliver Naesen led the way up the final vicious climb. But he was soon swallowed up by the top class classics stars. Philippe Gilbert (Quick-Step Floors) and Van Avermaet led the way up the climb, as Degenkolb tried but faded on the far right. Matthews came up from behind the Belgians to charge to the clear win.

The grupetto with not only Kittel but numerous other sprinters came in 13:17 down, well within the day’s time limit.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb4:21:56
2Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing TeamRow 1 - Cell 2
3Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data0:00:01
4Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step FloorsRow 3 - Cell 2
5Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-HansgroheRow 4 - Cell 2
6Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-MeridaRow 5 - Cell 2
7Christopher Froome (GBr) Team SkyRow 6 - Cell 2
8Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step FloorsRow 7 - Cell 2
9Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-DrapacRow 8 - Cell 2
10Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:00:05
11Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 10 - Cell 2
12Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step FloorsRow 11 - Cell 2
13Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-ScottRow 12 - Cell 2
14Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La MondialeRow 13 - Cell 2
15Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 14 - Cell 2
16Davide Cimolai (Ita) FDJ0:00:12
17Nacer Bouhanni (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 16 - Cell 2
18Simon Clarke (Aus) Cannondale-DrapacRow 17 - Cell 2
19Marco Marcato (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:00:15
20Mikel Landa (Spa) Team SkyRow 19 - Cell 2
21Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:20
22Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Nairo Quintana (Col) Movistar Team0:00:22
24Alberto Contador (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 23 - Cell 2
25George Bennett (NZl) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 24 - Cell 2
26Oliver Naesen (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:25
27Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 26 - Cell 2
28Louis Meintjes (RSA) UAE Team EmiratesRow 27 - Cell 2
29Emanuel Buchmann (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 28 - Cell 2
30Fabio Aru (Ita) Astana Pro TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Alexis Vuillermoz (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 30 - Cell 2
32Daryl Impey (RSA) Orica-ScottRow 31 - Cell 2
33Laurent Pichon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 32 - Cell 2
34Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 33 - Cell 2
35Romain Hardy (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 34 - Cell 2
36John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo0:00:30
37Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar TeamRow 36 - Cell 2
38Sergio Henao (Col) Team SkyRow 37 - Cell 2
39Pierre Latour (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 38 - Cell 2
40Marco Minnaard (Ned) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 39 - Cell 2
41Guillaume Martin (Fra) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:33
42Alexander Kristoff (Nor) Katusha-AlpecinRow 41 - Cell 2
43Angelo Tulik (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 42 - Cell 2
44Tony Gallopin (Fra) Lotto Soudal0:00:43
45Brice Feillu (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro0:00:47
46Serge Pauwels (Bel) Dimension DataRow 45 - Cell 2
47Ben Swift (GBr) UAE Team Emirates0:00:49
48Frederik Backaert (Bel) Wanty - Groupe Gobert0:00:52
49Pawel Poljanski (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 48 - Cell 2
50Bauke Mollema (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 49 - Cell 2
51Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team SunwebRow 50 - Cell 2
52Warren Barguil (Fra) Team SunwebRow 51 - Cell 2
53Dion Smith (NZl) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 52 - Cell 2
54Adam James Hansen (Aus) Lotto SoudalRow 53 - Cell 2
55Julien Vermote (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:00:57
56Cyril Gautier (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:59
57Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La MondialeRow 56 - Cell 2
58Jens Keukeleire (Bel) Orica-Scott0:01:10
59Nils Politt (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 58 - Cell 2
60Diego Ulissi (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 59 - Cell 2
61Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 60 - Cell 2
62Andrey Zeits (Kaz) Astana Pro Team0:01:14
63Maxime Bouet (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro0:01:15
64Nathan Brown (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 63 - Cell 2
65Thomas Degand (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 64 - Cell 2
66Ben Gastauer (Lux) AG2R La MondialeRow 65 - Cell 2
67Axel Domont (Fra) AG2R La MondialeRow 66 - Cell 2
68Haimar Zubeldia (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 67 - Cell 2
69Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team EmiratesRow 68 - Cell 2
70Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team SkyRow 69 - Cell 2
71Tiago Machado (Por) Katusha-AlpecinRow 70 - Cell 2
72Thibaut Pinot (Fra) FDJ0:01:22
73Daniele Bennati (Ita) Movistar Team0:01:25
74Pierre Luc Perichon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro0:01:27
75Rudy Molard (Fra) FDJ0:01:32
76Olivier Le Gac (Fra) FDJ0:01:34
77Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-HansgroheRow 76 - Cell 2
78Tony Martin (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 77 - Cell 2
79Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek-SegafredoRow 78 - Cell 2
80Roman Kreuziger (Cze) Orica-ScottRow 79 - Cell 2
81Robert Kiserlovski (Cro) Katusha-Alpecin0:01:43
82Kristijan Durasek (Cro) UAE Team EmiratesRow 81 - Cell 2
83Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott0:01:45
84Esteban Chaves (Col) Orica-Scott0:01:57
85Michal Kwiatkowski (Pol) Team Sky0:01:59
86Scott Thwaites (GBr) Dimension Data0:02:03
87Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 86 - Cell 2
88Christophe Laporte (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:02:06
89Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step Floors0:02:18
90Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 89 - Cell 2
91Michael Valgren Andersen (Den) Astana Pro TeamRow 90 - Cell 2
92Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data0:02:23
93Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Bahrain-Merida0:02:26
94Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:02:27
95Cyril Lemoine (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions Credits0:02:31
96Maurits Lammertink (Ned) Katusha-Alpecin0:02:46
97Andrey Amador (CRc) Movistar Team0:03:04
98Alberto Bettiol (Ita) Cannondale-Drapac0:03:09
99Jesus Herrada (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 98 - Cell 2
100Vasil Kiryienka (Blr) Team Sky0:03:19
101Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data0:05:26
102Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin0:06:04
103Simon Geschke (Ger) Team Sunweb0:06:28
104Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing TeamRow 103 - Cell 2
105Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 104 - Cell 2
106Florian Vachon (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 105 - Cell 2
107Luke Rowe (GBr) Team SkyRow 106 - Cell 2
108Janez Brajkovic (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 107 - Cell 2
109Alexey Lutsenko (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 108 - Cell 2
110Thomas Leezer (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 109 - Cell 2
111Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 110 - Cell 2
112Nicolas Roche (Irl) BMC Racing TeamRow 111 - Cell 2
113Yohann Gene (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 112 - Cell 2
114Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie0:06:57
115Dylan Van Baarle (Ned) Cannondale-Drapac0:08:00
116Laurens Ten Dam (Ned) Team Sunweb0:11:05
117Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team SunwebRow 116 - Cell 2
118Yukiya Arashiro (Jpn) Bahrain-Merida0:12:03
119Markel Irizar (Spa) Trek-SegafredoRow 118 - Cell 2
120Julien Simon (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 119 - Cell 2
121Alessandro De Marchi (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:12:16
122André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal0:13:17
123Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team SunwebRow 122 - Cell 2
124Bernhard Eisel (Aut) Dimension DataRow 123 - Cell 2
125Marcel Sieberg (Ger) Lotto SoudalRow 124 - Cell 2
126Adrien Petit (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 125 - Cell 2
127Guillaume Van Keirsbulck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 126 - Cell 2
128Jasha Sütterlin (Ger) Movistar TeamRow 127 - Cell 2
129Rick Zabel (Ger) Katusha-AlpecinRow 128 - Cell 2
130Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-DrapacRow 129 - Cell 2
131Rüdiger Selig (Ger) Bora-HansgroheRow 130 - Cell 2
132Lars Ytting Bak (Den) Lotto SoudalRow 131 - Cell 2
133Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step FloorsRow 132 - Cell 2
134Matteo Bono (Ita) UAE Team EmiratesRow 133 - Cell 2
135Luis Angel Mate (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 134 - Cell 2
136Robert Wagner (Ger) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 135 - Cell 2
137Roy Curvers (Ned) Team SunwebRow 136 - Cell 2
138Nicolas Edet (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 137 - Cell 2
139Vegard Stake Laengen (Nor) UAE Team EmiratesRow 138 - Cell 2
140Damien Howson (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 139 - Cell 2
141Primoz Roglic (Slo) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 140 - Cell 2
142Imanol Erviti (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 141 - Cell 2
143Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar TeamRow 142 - Cell 2
144Yoann Offredo (Fra) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 143 - Cell 2
145Elie Gesbert (Fra) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 144 - Cell 2
146Javier Moreno (Spa) Bahrain-MeridaRow 145 - Cell 2
147Eduardo Sepulveda (Arg) Team Fortuneo - OscaroRow 146 - Cell 2
148Christian Knees (Ger) Team SkyRow 147 - Cell 2
149Daniel Navarro (Spa) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 148 - Cell 2
150Andriy Grivko (Ukr) Astana Pro TeamRow 149 - Cell 2
151Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 150 - Cell 2
152Florian Senechal (Fra) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 151 - Cell 2
153Dimitri Claeys (Bel) Cofidis, Solutions CreditsRow 152 - Cell 2
154Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-MeridaRow 153 - Cell 2
155Andrea Pasqualon (Ita) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 154 - Cell 2
156Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto SoudalRow 155 - Cell 2
157Grega Bole (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 156 - Cell 2
158Michael Gogl (Aut) Trek-SegafredoRow 157 - Cell 2
159Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-SegafredoRow 158 - Cell 2
160Bakhtiyar Kozhatayev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 159 - Cell 2
161Dylan Groenewegen (Ned) Team LottoNl-JumboRow 160 - Cell 2
162Andrew Talansky (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 161 - Cell 2
163Romain Sicard (Fra) Direct EnergieRow 162 - Cell 2
164Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing TeamRow 163 - Cell 2
165Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-AlpecinRow 164 - Cell 2
166Albert Timmer (Ned) Team SunwebRow 165 - Cell 2
167Pierre Rolland (Fra) Cannondale-DrapacRow 166 - Cell 2
168Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-ScottRow 167 - Cell 2
169Stephen Cummings (GBr) Dimension DataRow 168 - Cell 2
170Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step FloorsRow 169 - Cell 2
171Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro TeamRow 170 - Cell 2
172Pieter Vanspeybrouck (Bel) Wanty - Groupe GobertRow 171 - Cell 2
173Borut Bozic (Slo) Bahrain-MeridaRow 172 - Cell 2
174Taylor Phinney (USA) Cannondale-DrapacRow 173 - Cell 2
175Daniel Mclay (GBr) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro0:24:13
176Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:28:54
DNFFabio Felline (Ita) Trek-SegafredoRow 176 - Cell 2
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Points
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb30pts
2Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team25Row 1 - Cell 3
3Edvald Boasson Hagen (Nor) Dimension Data22Row 2 - Cell 3
4Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors19Row 3 - Cell 3
5Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe17Row 4 - Cell 3
6Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida15Row 5 - Cell 3
7Christopher Froome (GBr) Team Sky13Row 6 - Cell 3
8Daniel Martin (Irl) Quick-Step Floors11Row 7 - Cell 3
9Rigoberto Uran (Col) Cannondale-Drapac9Row 8 - Cell 3
10Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Lotto Soudal7Row 9 - Cell 3
11Romain Bardet (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale6Row 10 - Cell 3
12Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors5Row 11 - Cell 3
13Simon Yates (GBr) Orica-Scott4Row 12 - Cell 3
14Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale3Row 13 - Cell 3
15Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo2Row 14 - Cell 3
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Intermediate sprint - Rabastens, km. 55.5
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal20pts
2Maxime Bouet (Fra) Team Fortuneo - Oscaro17Row 1 - Cell 3
3Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie15Row 2 - Cell 3
4Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin13Row 3 - Cell 3
5Timo Roosen (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo11Row 4 - Cell 3
6Marcel Kittel (Ger) Quick-Step Floors10Row 5 - Cell 3
7Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb9Row 6 - Cell 3
8Fabio Sabatini (Ita) Quick-Step Floors8Row 7 - Cell 3
9André Greipel (Ger) Lotto Soudal7Row 8 - Cell 3
10Sonny Colbrelli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida6Row 9 - Cell 3
11Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step Floors5Row 10 - Cell 3
12Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Sunweb4Row 11 - Cell 3
13Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors3Row 12 - Cell 3
14Amael Moinard (Fra) BMC Racing Team2Row 13 - Cell 3
15Danilo Wyss (Swi) BMC Racing Team1Row 14 - Cell 3
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Mountain 1 (Cat. 3), Côte du viaduc du Viaur, km. 131.0
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal2pts
2Thomas Voeckler (Fra) Direct Energie1Row 1 - Cell 3
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Mountain 2 (Cat. 3), Côte de Centrès, km. 145.0
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResultHeader Cell - Column 3
1Thomas De Gendt (Bel) Lotto Soudal