Matthews shared his thoughts after the finish. “Everyone’s just taking so much risk,” he said.
“For me as a sprinter, as I showed yesterday, I need to start my sprint from the front. I’m not a guy that can head butt people or elbow people to get into position." - Michael Matthews
“With stages like this where it’s so easy all day, everyone is stressed early. The final started with 50 kilometres to go. On these small roads everyone wants to be in position and so they use a lot of their guys to be in position. And then it comes to the final and no one has lead-outs left. So it’s down to the individual sprinter.
“It seems these days they’re willing to risk their lives,” said Matthews.
“The legs are really good, we just need to fine tune our lead-out process further and keep going for it.”
Earlier in the day Matthews took second in the intermediate sprint from the bunch, and adding 11 points to his tally in the sprinters’ competition, thanks to a strong lead out from his Sunweb team. He continues to sit third in the battle for the Green Jersey.
Arnaud Demare (FDJ) held onto his lead in the points competition for another day, but the gap to second place, Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors), has narrowed. Kittel’s second stage win last night saw him gain 50 points, while Demare’s second place finish earned him 30 points.
“I believed in my chances when I was starting to overtake Greipel,” said Demare. “And then I saw a blue wing fly past me on the left. From where I was trying to go on the right, it was really on the edge.
“I was not 100 per cent in my sprint, more in my line. I have no regrets. I keep scoring points for the green jersey and that's reassuring.
“There is a big battle with Kittel. He has two wins but in the intermediate sprint, I played it well. The Tour is very long and we cannot say it's in the bag. Tomorrow, we're at it again.”