• Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) wins La Rioja (AAP)Source: AAP
Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) took victory by just a wheel length over Sergey Shilov (Russia) in the final sprint.
Cycling Central

4 Apr 2016 - 2:29 PM 

Perfectly delivered by the last man on the Orica GreenEdge train Michael Albasini, Matthews started his sprint with just 200m to go. Even with just this distance remaining, Matthews overcame a head wind and a run-in with the barriers to take the win. 

After a few unsuccessful attempts, five riders pulled clear gaining a three minute advantage after 25km. Orica-GreenEdge led the peloton for the remainder of the race, reeling in the escapees with 10km to go.

2014 La Rioja winner, Matthews was understandably grateful. 

“The team were amazing throughout the race today. They did a perfect job controlling things and I’m happy I was able to finish it off," he said. 

“We were the only team on the front from start to finish. The boys were really strong and in the end the sprint was very close, I didn’t know if I had won when we crossed the line.

"After the crash in San-Remo its really good to come here and win, to move on.

“I started my sprint from around 200 metres. It was difficult because I got pushed into the barriers and had to go around, luckily I had enough speed to hold on."

Caleb Ewan won the 2015 edition of the race.