Aussie Focus

Matthews fights but can't retain yellow in Paris-Nice TT

Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) went into Stage 3 with the race lead, but wasn't quite able to hold onto the yellow jersey in the 14.4-kilometre time trial, falling nine seconds short of the time required to retain first overall.

Michael Matthews, Team BikeExchange, 79th Paris-Nice 2021 - Stage 3

Michael Matthews, Team BikeExchange, 79th Paris-Nice 2021 - Stage 3 Source: Getty

As the last rider down the ramp, Matthews knew there were some fast times out there as he attacked the course, blasting around the predominantly flat 14.4km route around Gien, with his time of 17 minutes 57 seconds good enough for 17th place on the stage.

Matthews had a 14-second buffer on the majority of the field after claiming time bonuses at the intermediate sprints and with his third-placed finish in the bunch sprint on Stage 2.

“I think after a pretty solid two days already, now to come into this, I was probably already a little bit on the back foot," said Matthews, who has previously won a prologue at Paris-Nice in 2016. "After the race, I looked at my power and it was really good, so obviously just it is just some fine-tuning in and out of the corners, which is probably just race fitness, it is only my third day racing."

Advertisement


“In the end, it was a decent ride, obviously not my best day but I gave it everything and it was a really nice day in the yellow jersey. Unfortunately, I lost it but tomorrow is another day and we’ve got some climbs coming up so hopefully we can give Lucas (Hamilton) a good crack and see what he can do."

Matthews said in the lead-up to the race in an interview with SBS Cycling Central that he considered the queen stage of this year's edition of Paris-Nice to be too hard climbing-wise for him to win, but he has his sights on stage wins and also is right in the thick of the fight for the green jersey.

“There’s still maybe one or two opportunities coming up for me to go for another stage win so I will keep dreaming with that," said Matthews.



It was Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) who came out on top, powering to the stage victory to move into the race lead, having started the day as part of that large group 14 seconds down on the Australian star.

The SBS coverage of Paris-Nice continues tonight from 12.15 AEDT on SBS HD and SBS On Demand with a 188km stage in the medium mountains. Six categorised climbs add up to just over 3500 metres of climbing for the stage, with a summit finish into Chiroubles. 


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 10 March 2021 at 9:40am
By SBS Cycling Central
Source: SBS