• Michael Matthews at the 2018 Tre Valli Varesine. (Getty)Source: Getty
Michael Matthews may again put his ambition to win a career second green jersey at the Tour de France on hold for Tom Dumoulin, should the course for the 2019 race suit the Dutchman.
By
Sophie Smith

Source:
Cycling Central
23 Oct 2018 - 8:29 AM 

Tour organiser ASO will unveil the route this week, a key consideration in team selections although Dumoulin has already indicated a title tilt at next year’s event could be his main aim.

Speaking from his Monaco home, Matthews, who was forced to abandon the Tour this year due to food poisoning, was a consummate sportsman talking about his Sunweb teammate.

The pair have developed into and earned co-leadership of the WorldTour squad, with the Tour being the one race where their respective goals overlap.

“I achieved my dream there and he is trying to achieve his with being at the Tour. I think the team wants to give him the opportunity to go for it and that’s fine with me. I’ve got my green jersey on my wall so I’m honestly super happy,” Matthews said.

“In the future, I’d really like to go for it again, but when we have a future possibility to win the Tour de France with Tom I think it’s obviously a massive goal for the team and I’d love to be a part of it.

"The experience, going for the win in the Tour de France with a team that really can win it, I think that’s also super special in someone’s career to be a part of something like that, especially for me. We’ll see.”

Dumoulin, 27, targeted the Giro d’Italia and the Tour de France this year finishing second overall at both in what was a consistent season. Matthews conversely bounced back from injury, which blighted his anticipated spring classics campaign, and illness at the Tour to finish the season with a mental reprieve. He won a stage at BinckBank Tour, marked victory at the GP de Quebec and Montreal plus took silver in the team time trial world championships.

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“I think me and Tom are really good friends so that also helps. He’s also willing to help me in the races that I want to win and I’m willing to help him in the races he wants to win,” Matthews continued. “I think that partnership between us can go a really long way. He’s not a selfish person that’s just looking out for himself. He’s always trying to help other guys and similar to me we’re willing to invest in others to also make ourselves happy.”

The three-time Tour de France stage winner Matthews has suggested he may generally shake things up in 2019 and choose different objectives to that of previous years.

He was a favourite to win stage five of the Tour before abandoning at the start due to acute food poisoning and fever. The 28-year-old didn’t jump at the suggestion that redemption at the race could be among his chief objectives.

“I think I’ve done pretty much the same program for I don’t even know how long anymore,” he said. “This year, the second half of the season went so well I think we’ll try something different next year. Doing the same thing every year is also not super motivating.

"Eventually, you get over doing that same thing every year, trying to win those same races, so I’d like to try something a little bit fresh and see how I go. I’m not exactly sure what it is yet but I’m looking forward to it.”

Matthews does not plan to return to Australia for the beginning of the WorldTour season, with his wife and their nine-month-old baby set to stay in Monaco for the European winter.

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