Just one week after bringing the Tour de France’s green jersey home for Team Sunweb, Michael Matthews was back in sprinting action at Ride London to take third place for the team.
The day’s early breakaway was brought back mid-way through the race and immediately a counter attack was launched. The group managed to take an advantage that could only around 20 seconds due to the high pace in the chasing peloton.
After the day’s challenging climbs the race was in pieces, Team Sunweb were positioned well inside the first chase group with both Michael and Søren Kragh Andersen. With the gap between the leaders and chase group holding steady, Søren put in a huge effort in the pursuit of the break whilst Michael remained tucked inside the bunch preserving energy for the sprint. After a regrouping more Team Sunweb riders came to the front group and continued to dominate the chase inside the final 30 kilometres. With strength in numbers at their advantage, the team were able to set the tempo at the front and then work to lead Michael out for the sprint. It looked like the breakaway may ruin the sprinters chances but the peloton timed their chase to perfection and the race came back together inside the final kilometre. German lead-out man Nikias Arndt was there to open up the sprint for Michael. The final showdown on The Mall saw Michael cross the line in third place for Team Sunweb.
“I had a lot of confidence coming into the race today but unfortunately the legs weren’t as good as I would have liked,” said Michael after the finish. “I carried on training this week after the Tour and stayed focused in preparation for today. My goal was to attack on the climbs but I wasn’t able to make the difference. Some days you have bad days and I am still pleased to be able to finish third after a tough three weeks at the Tour.”
Team Sunweb coach Rudi Kemna said: “It was good team work all day from everyone. We controlled things throughout the day and helped with the chase of the break. Michael always had a rider with him which was a great situation and everyone up in 100 percent for our goal. In the end it was a good result which we can be happy with.”