Michael Matthews takes 2nd at Pais Vasco Stage 4

RIDERS

Michael Matthews Simon Geschke Johannes Fröhlinger Chris Hamilton Georg Preidler Laurens ten Dam Warren Barguil Sam Oomen

The finale of Stage 4 saw a solo attack go clear through to the line with Michael Matthews sprinting to second place from the chasing bunch.

It was 60km before a breakaway was able to go clear, with the bunch keen not to let any rider free from their grasp. Headed towards the final climb the peloton injected the pace to bring the four leaders back. The last of the breakaway riders were caught as the race crested its final climb and it was here that the action alighted. A flurry of attacks came from the front and the formation of the bunch splintered. Team Sunweb were represented in the first group on the road with Warren Barguil, Laurens Ten Dam, Sam Oomen and Michael Matthews. Inside the final kilometre a crash saw Warren Barguil taken down and out of contention in the finale. As a solo attack went clear through to the finale a furious chase from the bunch was launched but the group were unable to reach the lone leader. Michael crossed the line first from within the bunch, taking 2nd place on the stage. The efforts of Sam moves him up to 11th in the general classification and Michael maintains his lead in the points classification.

*Warren did not sustain any serious injuries from his crash and was able to finish the stage.

Reactions

“It was another great day for the team as we put in our best to win another stage,” said Michael after the stage. “With the last climb deciding who would go through to the final we still had four riders in the bunch which was a great show from everyone. Coming into the final we had Laurens setting the pace and then Warren taking over in the last kilometre which left Sam to guide me into position. Warren was so committed to bringing the breakaway rider back that he went through the last corner and unfortunately crashed, taking him out of the lead out. That left Sam to place me into the final and he did a great job with me taking 2nd. It’s pretty incredible when a guy that is going for the GC (Warren) is willing to give everything for his team mates to win and I have full respect for that. I hope I can repay both him and the team for their hard work and commitment.”

Team Sunweb coach Morten Bennekou said: “It was again a day with a good display of team work and dedicated support to Michael. I was a proud DS in the car to see the boys work so well together. Impressively Michael managed to survive the last climb giving him a huge possibility to win one more stage. Unfortunately the late attacker managed to make it to the finish alone, likely because of the crash on the last kilometre in the chasing peloton. I am very happy with today and the spirit that the guys showed.”

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