• Michael Matthews takes his first win for Team Sunweb (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Michael Matthews (Sunweb) sprinted clear of the bunch to take the first stage of the Vuelta al Pais Vasco with Jay McCarthy (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Simon Gerrans (Orica-Scott) rounding out the podium in second and third.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
Team Sunweb
4 Apr 2017 - 8:49 AM  UPDATED 4 Apr 2017 - 9:05 AM

26-year-old Matthews, in his first victory for Sunweb, finished ahead of his compatriots after 153km of racing in the Basque Country in a time of three hours 45 minutes and seven seconds.

Sunweb lead the charge earlier in the day and put in a mountain of work at the head of the peloton to bring the day’s breakaway back to the bunch, as they were keen to create an opportunity for a sprint. A late solo attack threatened to ruin the sprinters' chances, but the team chased hard to bridge the gap.

As the finish line drew near it was Gerrans who led the bunch into the final corner then McCarthy pulled in front rounding the bend. Meanwhile Sunweb had delivered Matthews into a perfect position for the final, crucial metres. Matthews launched his infamous explosive sprint, an effort that proved to be too strong for his opponents and he powered to victory taking his first win of the season.

“The guys put me into the perfect position to win the stage and I can't thank them enough for their help and support today. I am really happy I could take the win after all of their amazing work and dedication,” said Matthews.

"The team did a very good job controlling the peloton all day, aiming towards a sprint for Michael," said Sunweb coach Morten Bennekou. "When the early breakaway was caught with 20km to go we kept focused and positioned until the final.

“We are all especially happy because the victory was based on a strong team performance and an equally as strong individual performance. We are looking forward to riding with the yellow jersey tomorrow."