'Disappointed' Matthews struggles on tough Mûr-de-Bretagne

Aussie Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) endured a much tougher second stage of the 2021 Tour de France, losing significant time as he was unable to replicate his Stage 1 form that saw him finish in second place.

The 30-year-old was in prime position heading into day two, sporting the green jersey and sitting eight seconds behind Stage 1 winner and yellow jersey holder Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep).

But the final climb to the finish in Stage 2 proved too much for a tired Matthews as he fell off the back of the leading group, crossing the line in 76th at 2 minutes and 40 seconds behind winner Mathieu van der Poel (Alpecin-Fenix).

Advertisement


Speaking after the finish, ‘Bling’ revealed his body hadn’t quite recovered as well as he originally thought from the first stage, which proved the deciding factor up the climbs in the second.

“I guess after my performance I expected quite a lot out of myself,” Matthews said.

“And I guess yesterday took it out of me more than I thought it did, so in one word, disappointed.”

“We positioned really well coming into the circuit, the first time up the climb my legs totally exploded, and it was as if I was a different bike rider.

“Yesterday I could do what I wanted and today unfortunately I couldn’t.

I just tried to survive the first time up the Mûr-de-Bretagne then the second time I went to get out the saddle and just couldn’t. We had Esteban [Chaves] and [Lucas] Hamilton up there in the final, and there’s still a long way to go, so we’re looking forward to the coming days.”

Team director Matt White echoed Matthews’ optimism going forward to the next stages after what he admitted was an uncertain second day of the Tour.

“It got pretty heavy on the final circuit there and most of the type of riders like Matthews got isolated at the finish.

"We’ve lost our place on GC but Esteban and Lucas Hamilton were up there in the front part of the group at the finish.

"It was a nervous day, in and out of towns and wet then dry then wet again. Tomorrow is a more traditional sprint stage.”

The Tour de France continues tomorrow with Stage 3, which looks to be one for the pure sprinters with Aussie Caleb Ewan going in as the strong favourite. Watch on SBS, the SKODA Tour Tracker App and SBS On Demand from 8.30pm AEST with racing starting from 9.00pm AEST.


SHARE
Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Have a story or comment? Contact Us

Watch the FIFA World Cup, Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, Vuelta a España, Dakar Rally, World Athletics / ISU Championships (and more) via SBS On Demand – your free live streaming and catch-up service.
Watch nowOn Demand
Follow SBS Sport
3 min read
Published 28 June 2021 at 4:22am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS