Aussie Focus

Matthews charges to fourth in 'hectic' Stage 4 sprint

Aussie Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) moved up one spot to third place in the hunt for the green jersey after sprinting to a fourth place finish in Stage 4 of the 2021 Tour de France.

Another strong performance akin to his second place finish in stage 1, Matthews' confidence will have been restored following disappointing finishes in stages 2 and 3 where he crossed the line in 76th and 18th respectively, tallying no points.

As the peloton closed in on the finish in Fougères, Matthews surged to the front of the pack with the help of teammate Luka Mezgec, launching out of the saddle in a frantic final sprint to cross the line in fourth behind winner Mark Cavendish (Deceuninck-QuickStep) who took out his 31st stage victory at the Tour.

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Coupled with fourth place in the intermediate sprint earlier in the day, it was a strong overall showing from the 30-year-old as he moves into third in the maillot vert battle behind new leader Cavendish and Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck-QuickStep) in second.

Matthews was happy with his efforts on the day as he came so close again to a stage win, showing his stage 1 performance wasn't a matter of luck.

“That was like every other Tour de France sprint; hectic," he said.

"With the resources we had there with just me and Luka Mezgec in the final, we had to wait and then make a run at the end.



Luka did a great job positioning me in the final there and I finished fourth. Of course I came to win, but I have to be satisfied with fourth place today.”

Team director Matt White echoed Matthews' satisfaction as the focus will now shift to GC top 10 contender Lucas Hamilton's hopes in tomorrow's individual time trial from Changé to Laval Espace Mayenne.

"It was a good sprint, a sprint that suited Michael’s characteristics more than a plain flat sprint," White said.

He took fourth place on the stage so it was a good result and we have also moved up to third place in the green jersey competition ahead of a well-deserved rest day for some tomorrow on the TT Day.”

The Tour de France continues with Stage 5, a mostly flat individual time stage over a 27.2 kilometre course finishing in Laval. Watch the action on SBS and SBS On Demand from 2030 AEST, and the SKODA Tour Tracker from 2005 AEST. 


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3 min read
Published 30 June 2021 at 3:15am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS