Tour de Suisse: Matthews wins stage 3

Sunweb's Michael Matthews claimed stage 3 of the Tour de Suisse on Monday, out-sprinting Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) in Bern.

After a hectic uphill run-in to the line, Sunweb hit the front for the finishing straight to put Matthews into prime position for the final kick. The 26-year-old Australian launched with 150 metres to go and none of those behind came particularly close to pulling even with him, despite a bit of argy-bargy in his wake.

"I struggled a little bit on the climb. I wasn't climbing so well today but it was good enough," Matthews said. "I saw that I had a teammate there with Nikias Arndt and that gave me massive motivation because I knew he could do a really big pull and that made it perfect for me to do my sprint at the right time, not like last year when I got boxed in during the Tour. It’s nice to get the win that I really wanted last year."

Having finished fourth in the opening prologue and adding bonus seconds with his stage 3 win, Matthews now leads the Tour de Suisse by 10 seconds over teammate Tom Dumoulin. After taking bonus seconds in both intermediate sprints, overnight leader Stefan Küng (BMC) was distanced in the run-in to the finish, and came across the line in a group 19 seconds down, slipping to 12th overall.

"It will be nice having the leader's jersey tomorrow. The team won the Giro d'Italia so I guess they know how to ride on the front now," Matthews said.

After a slow start to the afternoon that saw the pack allow two breakaway riders - Elmar Reinders (Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij) and Lasse Norman Hansen (Aqua Blue Sport) - to get a nine-minute advantage, the tempo rose steadily in the latter half of the stage, setting up a frantic finale after the escapees were reeled in with 13 kilometres to go.

BMC and Trek-Segafredo set up at the front of the pack and drove a torrid pace through several tricky corners to lead into a final uncategorised ascent that began near the flamme rouge and ran up toward the finishing straight. Once the peloton hit the climb, however, any organisation at the head of affairs fell to pieces.

None of the marquee fast finishers wanted to lead into the sprint, with Sagan and Degenkolb swinging off and allowing others to pull the pack into the finale, but Arndt linked up with Matthews on the finishing straight and then hit the front at full speed. He didn't let up until his sprinter was in perfect position to strike, and Matthews delivered to take the win and wrest the yellow jersey from overnight leader Stefan Küng.

How it unfolded

The day's main breakaway formed almost immediately after the peloton rolled off the start line in Menziken for a long lap around the town before heading south and west to Bern. Elmar Reinders (Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij) and mountains classification leader Lasse Norman Hansen (Aqua Blue Sport) jumped clear of the pack within the first few minutes of racing and the bunch decided to allow the escapees to grow their advantage.

The duo were four minutes up the road 11 kilometres into the 159.3km stage. By the time they crested the first of the day's three categorised climbs – with Hansen leading the way – the gap was all the way up to seven minutes.

The gap yawned all the way to nine minutes before the peloton finally showed enough interest to tighten the leash. The pack brought things down to a more manageable six minutes, and the gap hovered there for a while, with Hansen again adding to his mountains points on the next climb of the day.

Trek-Segafredo pitched in to help BMC at the front inside the final 70 kilometres, and the combined efforts began gradually wearing away at the break's advantage. Defending champion Miguel Ángel López (Astana) crashed with around 60 kilometres to go but appeared unhurt.

With 40 kilometres to go, the gap was at 4:35, and it still stood at 3:50 with 30 left, opening the door for the breakaway to feel some optimism about their chances. The danger was not lost on the pack, however, with Trek-Segafredo upping the pace and Bahrain-Merida lending a hand as well. A lined-out peloton then started to rapidly cut into the gap.

Made aware of the growing threat behind, Hansen increased his own tempo at the head of the race. That spelled the end of Reinders' time out front. Unable to keep the peace, the Dutchman drifted back and was swallowed up by the hard-charging peloton in short order.

Hansen's gap was down to a minute with around 15 kilometres left to race. He made it up and over the final categorised climb to take maximum points again, but that's all he would be able to take away from the stage, as the pack closed him down just two kilometres later.

Trek and BMC traded off turns at the front, stringing the peloton out as they pulled into Bern. The organisation fell to pieces on the uncategorised uphill drag toward to finishing straight as several riders from different teams swarmed the front but none seemed interested in committing to an attack.

As the road flattened out, however, Arndt found his sprinter and went to work, providing a textbook lead-out that Matthews turned into his second WorldTour victory of 2017.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb3:49:48
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
3John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo
4Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal
5Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott
6Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac
7Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ
8Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
9Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
10Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team
11Reinardt Janse Van Rensburg (RSA) Dimension Data
12Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
13Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
14Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
15Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
16Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb
17Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin
18Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
19Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie
20Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky
21Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
22Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb
23Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
24Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
25Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-Alpecin
26Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data
27Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team
28Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
29Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky
30Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Sunweb
31Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe
32Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ
33Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Bahrain-Merida
34Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale
35Mark Christian (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport
36Mekseb Debesay (Eri) Dimension Data
37Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
38Tejay Van Garderen (USA) BMC Racing Team0:00:19
39Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team
40Sylvain Chavanel (Fra) Direct Energie
41Victor De La Parte (Spa) Movistar Team
42Sep Vanmarcke (Bel) Cannondale-Drapac
43Carlos Verona (Spa) Orica-Scott
44Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension Data
45Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ
46Simone Ponzi (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:00:26
47Paul Martens (Ger) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
48Aaron Gate (NZl) Aqua Blue Sport
49Daniel Pearson (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport
50Hugh Carthy (GBr) Cannondale-Drapac
51Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team
52Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team
53Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale
54Nikolas Maes (Bel) Lotto Soudal
55Mike Teunissen (Ned) Team Sunweb
56Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team
57Larry Warbasse (USA) Aqua Blue Sport
58Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida
59Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors
60Jakub Kaczmarek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:00:38
61Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
62Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJ0:00:43
63Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar Team
64Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
65Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo
66Adrian Kurek (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
67Simone Consonni (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:00:49
68Jesper Asselman (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:00:53
69Ondrej Cink (Cze) Bahrain-Merida
70Daan Olivier (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
71Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac
72Gianluca Brambilla (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
73Mathew Hayman (Aus) Orica-Scott
74Lars Boom (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:01:03
75Matti Breschel (Den) Astana Pro Team0:01:14
76Matvey Mamykin (Rus) Katusha-Alpecin
77Alexis Gougeard (Fra) AG2R La Mondiale
78Antoine Duchesne (Can) Direct Energie
79Dmitriy Gruzdev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
80Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team
81Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
82Nelson Oliveira (Por) Movistar Team
83Kevin Reza (Fra) FDJ
84Jaco Venter (RSA) Dimension Data
85Jan Bárta (Cze) Bora-Hansgrohe
86Simone Petilli (Ita) UAE Team Emirates
87Matej Mohoric (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
88Ryan Mullen (Irl) Cannondale-Drapac
89Maxime Monfort (Bel) Lotto Soudal
90Taylor Phinney (USA) Cannondale-Drapac
91Tomasz Marczynski (Pol) Lotto Soudal
92Baptiste Planckaert (Bel) Katusha-Alpecin
93Martin Elmiger (Swi) BMC Racing Team
94Maciej Bodnar (Pol) Bora-Hansgrohe
95Jurgen Roelandts (Bel) Lotto Soudal
96Oscar Gatto (Ita) Astana Pro Team
97Michal Kolár (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
98Salvatore Puccio (Ita) Team Sky0:01:44
99Sacha Modolo (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:01:48
100Roy Curvers (Ned) Team Sunweb
101Ramon Sinkeldam (Ned) Team Sunweb
102Reto Hollenstein (Swi) Katusha-Alpecin
103Daniel Hoelgaard (Nor) FDJ0:01:57
104Jack Bauer (NZl) Quick-Step Floors
105Yves Lampaert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors
106Bert-Jan Lindeman (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
107Gediminas Bagdonas (Ltu) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:17
108Ben King (USA) Dimension Data
109Fabien Grellier (Fra) Direct Energie
110Ivan Garcia (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
111Alberto Losada (Spa) Katusha-Alpecin
112Arman Kamyshev (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
113Sondre Holst Enger (Nor) AG2R La Mondiale0:02:23
114Bart De Clercq (Bel) Lotto Soudal0:02:50
115Louis Vervaeke (Bel) Lotto Soudal
116Jelle Wallays (Bel) Lotto Soudal
117Nick Dougall (RSA) Dimension Data
118Jeroen Meijers (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
119Michel Kreder (Ned) Aqua Blue Sport
120Boy van Poppel (Ned) Trek-Segafredo
121Jesper Hansen (Den) Astana Pro Team
122Daniil Fominykh (Kaz) Astana Pro Team
123Daniel Oss (Ita) BMC Racing Team
124Marco Haller (Aut) Katusha-Alpecin
125Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:03:14
126Owain Doull (GBr) Team Sky0:03:42
127Alex Dowsett (GBr) Movistar Team
128Ryan Anderson (Can) Direct Energie
129Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
130Darwin Atapuma (Col) UAE Team Emirates
131Sam Bewley (NZl) Orica-Scott
132Sebastian Henao (Col) Team Sky
133Magnus Cort Nielsen (Den) Orica-Scott
134Felix Großschartner (Aut) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
135Rob Power (Aus) Orica-Scott
136Javier Moreno (Spa) Bahrain-Merida
137David De La Cruz (Spa) Quick-Step Floors
138Branislau Samoilau (Blr) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
139Leszek Plucinski (Pol) CCC Sprandi Polkowice
140Ruben Plaza (Spa) Orica-Scott
141Cedric Pineau (Fra) FDJ
142Marko Kump (Slo) UAE Team Emirates
143Tyler Farrar (USA) Dimension Data
144Rein Taaramäe (Est) Katusha-Alpecin
145Martijn Budding (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
146Pieter Weening (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij
147Gregory Rast (Swi) Trek-Segafredo
148Danny Van Poppel (Ned) Team Sky
149Joe Dombrowski (USA) Cannondale-Drapac
150Antonio Pedrero (Spa) Movistar Team
151Luke Durbridge (Aus) Orica-Scott0:04:40
152Perrig Quemeneur (Fra) Direct Energie
153Thomas Boudat (Fra) Direct Energie
154Juan Jose Lobato (Spa) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:04:51
155Valerio Agnoli (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:04:58
156Davide Martinelli (Ita) Quick-Step Floors
157Nico Denz (Ger) AG2R La Mondiale
158Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport0:05:37
159Taco Van Der Hoorn (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:06:58
160Conor Dunne (Irl) Aqua Blue Sport
161Kiel Reijnen (USA) Trek-Segafredo
162Jonathan Hivert (Fra) Direct Energie
163Lars Petter Nordhaug (Nor) Aqua Blue Sport
164Elmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:08:29
165Martijn Keizer (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo
166Philip Deignan (Irl) Team Sky
167Rohan Dennis (Aus) BMC Racing Team
168Lawson Craddock (USA) Cannondale-Drapac
169Jonathan Dibben (GBr) Team Sky
170Sébastien Reichenbach (Swi) FDJ
171Matthias Brändle (Aut) Trek-Segafredo
172Juraj Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe
173Albert Timmer (Ned) Team Sunweb
174Jonathan Castroviejo (Spa) Movistar Team
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Sprint 1 - Hinterdorfstrasse, 106.4 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Elmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij6pts
2Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport3
3Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team1
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Sprint 2 - Oberburgstrasse, 133.4 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Elmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij6pts
2Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport3
3Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team1
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb10pts
2Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe8
3John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo6
4Tim Wellens (Bel) Lotto Soudal4
5Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott2
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Mountain 1 - Zetzwilerstrasse, 20. km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport3pts
2Elmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij2
3Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij1
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Mountain 2 - Hauptstrasse, 73.7 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport3pts
2Elmar Reinders (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij2
3Nick Van Der Lijke (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij1
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Mountain 3 - Gümligentalstrasse, 144.7 km
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Lasse Norman Hansen (Den) Aqua Blue Sport3pts
2Enrico Gasparotto (Ita) Bahrain-Merida2
3Jarlinson Pantano (Col) Trek-Segafredo1
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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Team Sunweb11:29:24
3AG2R La Mondiale
4Dimension Data
5BMC Racing Team0:00:19
7Quick-Step Floors0:00:26
11Movistar Team
12UAE Team Emirates0:00:49
13Aqua Blue Sport0:00:52
16Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:01:19
17Direct Energie0:01:33
18Lotto Soudal0:01:40
19CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:01:42
20Team Sky0:01:44
21Astana Pro Team0:02:06
22Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:03:43
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General classification after stage 3
#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Sunweb8:18:47
2Tom Dumoulin (Ned) Team Sunweb0:00:10
3Peter Sagan (Svk) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:11
4Damiano Caruso (Ita) BMC Racing Team0:00:19
5Michael Albasini (Swi) Orica-Scott0:00:20
6Patrick Bevin (NZl) Cannondale-Drapac0:00:22
7Matteo Trentin (Ita) Quick-Step Floors0:00:23
8John Degenkolb (Ger) Trek-Segafredo0:00:24
9Jon Izaguirre (Spa) Bahrain-Merida0:00:25
10Marc Soler (Spa) Movistar Team
11Fabio Felline (Ita) Trek-Segafredo
12Stefan Küng (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:00:26
13Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Quick-Step Floors0:00:27
14Martijn Tusveld (Ned) Roompot - Nederlandse Loterij0:00:28
15Jan Bakelants (Bel) AG2R La Mondiale
16Valerio Conti (Ita) UAE Team Emirates0:00:29
17Steve Morabito (Swi) FDJ
18Rui Costa (Por) UAE Team Emirates
19Georg Preidler (Aut) Team Sunweb0:00:30
20Tao Geoghegan Hart (GBr) Team Sky
21Mark Christian (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport0:00:31
22Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
23Arthur Vichot (Fra) FDJ
24Patrick Konrad (Aut) Bora-Hansgrohe
25Steven Kruijswijk (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:00:32
26Domenico Pozzovivo (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:33
27Jhonatan Restrepo (Col) Katusha-Alpecin
28Jay McCarthy (Aus) Bora-Hansgrohe0:00:36
29Simon Spilak (Slo) Katusha-Alpecin0:00:37
30Mekseb Debesay (Eri) Dimension Data0:00:38
31Mathias Frank (Swi) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:39
32Lilian Calmejane (Fra) Direct Energie0:00:41
33Mikel Nieve (Spa) Team Sky0:00:42
34Tsgabu Grmay (Eth) Bahrain-Merida0:00:43
35Victor De La Parte (Spa) Movistar Team0:00:45
36Hugo Houle (Can) AG2R La Mondiale0:00:47
37Anthony Roux (Fra) FDJ0:00:48
38Merhawi Kudus (Eri) Dimension Data0:00:49
39Carlos Betancur (Col) Movistar Team0:00:55
40Aaron Gate (NZl) Aqua Blue Sport0:00:56
41Carlos Verona (Spa) Orica-Scott0:00:57
42Pello Bilbao (Spa) Astana Pro Team
43Zdenek Stybar (Cze) Quick-Step Floors0:01:01
44Lachlan Morton (Aus) Dimension Data0:01:03
45Miguel Angel Lopez (Col) Astana Pro Team0:01:11
46Lars Boom (Ned) Team LottoNl-Jumbo0:01:16
47Odd Christian Eiking (Nor) FDJ0:01:17
48Daniel Pearson (GBr) Aqua Blue Sport0:01:26
49Simone Ponzi (Ita) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:01:29
50Jan Hirt (Cze) CCC Sprandi Polkowice0:01:33
51Dayer Quintana (Col) Movistar Team0:01:36
52Michael Schär (Swi) BMC Racing Team0:01:43
53Michael Woods (Can) Cannondale-Drapac0:01:50
54Jan Bárta (Cze) Bora-Hansgrohe0:01:54
55Koen De Kort (Ned) Trek-Segafredo0:02:01
56Marcus Burghardt (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe0:02:08
57Nikias Arndt (Ger) Team Sunweb0:03:54
58Niccolo Bonifazio (Ita) Bahrain-Merida0:04:04