The seventh stage of racing at the Tour de France saw Michael Matthews power through to the line to take an impressive third place.
Riders made their way out of Troyes today for a 213 kilometre route to Nuits-Saint-Georges. With just one, fourth categorised climb to contend with it was set to be a day for the sprinters, and Team Sunweb remained tucked inside the peloton keeping Michael Matthews fresh for the final kilometres.
The day was animated by a four rider breakaway that went clear in the first six kilometres of racing. After taking a lead of up to three minutes, the quartet’s chances of glory were over inside the final six kilometres. As team’s lead-out trains swallowed up the breakaway and continued with their charge to the finish, Team Sunweb fought for position and moved towards the front. A strong lead-out from the team placed Michael in prime position in time for him to launch his explosive sprint. Michael went on to take an impressive third place, in what was an extremely tough battle to the line.
“We knew that we needed to stay focused and stick together inside the final,” explained Michael after the finish. “We had a plan and we stuck to it and for us this definitely feels like a win. We have a really strong team here which is focused solely around a solid lead-out and after following our plan to perfection we were able to take a good result. In this race there’s no giving up, as long as you keep trying then something good will come and that’s exactly what happened today.”
Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek added: “It was a really nervous final today but the team timed everything perfectly. Everyone was there to do their job throughout the day and into the final. The wind was a challenge inside the final 3 kilometres but the guys showed some real strength. It’s a good confidence boost and proof that Michael is in good shape.”
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