• Michael Matthews of Orica-GreenEDGE (Sirotti)Source: Sirotti
Michael Matthews won stage two of the Tour of Alberta, his first victory since he finished the Tour de France with cracked ribs and a strong sign he is on target for a solid performance at the UCI Road World Championships in the USA later this month.

4 Sep 2015 - 4:52 PM  UPDATED 4 Sep 2015 - 4:54 PM

After the breakaway was caught, Matthews benefitted from a strong leadout from his Orica-GreenEDGE team to claim a narrow sprint victory ahead of Nikias Arndt (Giant-Alpecin) and Alexey Tsatevich (Katusha). 

The bonus seconds for winning the stage also gave Matthews the overall race lead after a day of cold and wet racing.

"I wouldn't say I was flying, but it was my first opportunity to open up in a sprint like that in a while," Matthews said.

"It was little bit foreign but I just had to take the confidence in my form at the moment."

Matthews' win was a welcome morale boost for Orica-GreenEDGE after they narrowly missed out on winning the opening stage, a team time trial.

It comes a day after Cycling Australia confirmed Matthews and Simon Gerrans would lead the national men's elite team at the world championships in Richmond, Virginia, later this month.

Despite a painful Tour de France Matthews has enjoyed a strong season, taking out a stage and briefly leading the May Giro d'Italia as well as winning the points classification at Paris-Nice.