Wednesday, 13 July 2016
Michael Matthews insisted his Orica team would not rest on their laurels after securing a stage win at the Tour de France.
The Australian outfit came to the Tour with stage wins as their only ambition but not only did Matthews give them that on Tuesday’s 10th stage, pipping world champion Peter Sagan in a sprint finish, but young Briton Adam Yates still sits second in the overall standings.
It’s left Matthews feeling bullish about the team’s chances at the Tour.
“This was my biggest goal this season: to try to win a stage in the Tour de France,” said the 25-year-old from Canberra.
“I’ve succeeded in that now but it’s not the end of the Tour de France yet, we still have a lot more goals to try to go for.
“(We want) more stages, we have a really strong team to try to go for more stage wins.”
Monaco-based Matthews, who’s known as Bling for his flashy lifestyle, has now secured stage victories at all three Grand Tours, with two to his name at the Giro d’Italia and three on the Vuelta a Espana.
But he said he will now concentrate on trying to win a major one-day classic.
He came close last year, finishing second to Sagan at the world championships and coming third at both Milan-San Remo and Amstel Gold.
“For me, I’m not sure what’s coming up next but definitely one of the classics is my next goal,” he said.
“It was a goal already before this Tour de France but crashing in the final at Milan-San Remo put that out.
“Amstel didn’t go to plan (he was fifth) but hopefully I can go to the Canadian classics after this and try to get one of them also.”
He was second at the Quebec Grand Prix last year and both that and the Montreal Grand Prix suit his style.
Orica have enjoyed success in Canada in the past, with Simona Gerrans winning both Grand Prix in 2014, having also won in Quebec in 2012.
Yates, 23, who’s aim before the race was to win a mountain stage before finding himself in overall contention, said it had always been merely a matter of time before Matthews won a Tour stage.
“We couldn’t get the success we wanted in the first week but now we have it with Michael Matthews,” he said.
“He’s pretty quick. When he has an opportunity to win, he usually makes the best of it.
“He’s won everywhere. He has won a lot of bike races. He just hadn’t won at the Tour de France yet.”
Source by: AFP