Team Sunweb are developing and building for the future, aiming to become stronger in width. One of their goals includes the formation of strong, dedicated blocks of riders for the one-day races and sprints, to create options for different scenarios in the finales.
Michael Matthews, still under contract until the end of 2021, indicated that the team’s tactical approach to the sprints and classics – a more varied method, which takes advantage of the team’s increased collective strength – doesn’t precisely fit his athletic profile nor his preference of being the team’s targeted fast finisher. The team’s evolution of tactics for classics and sprints made Matthews request to look for new opportunities after 2020 elsewhere. The team decided to cooperate on the move.
Michael Matthews said: “The team is very ambitious and increasingly want to work with a broader collective of riders deeper in the finales of classics and sprint races. Those tactics do not ideally fit with my ambitions and specific strengths to sprint for the wins. For that reason, I decided to ask permission to investigate opportunities to look for a different team and I appreciate that Team Sunweb was open for this.
“I always have been very happy with the team’s professional environment and the wealth of knowledge that they have. I hope that I can find a similar environment in my next team. Through the years we have achieved amazing things together which I am very proud of, these memories will stay in my mind forever and I am very thankful to the team for that.”
Team Sunweb’s Iwan Spekenbrink said: “We are now in a position where the composition of the team has changed, and we want to exploit that broadened collective strength in the classics and the sprints. We respect that Michael has been open about his view on our goals and tactics in relation to his own specific strengths. Michael is an incredibly gifted rider; he is ambitious, we’ve really achieved great things together and he has been a good fit to the team. All of this combined made us decide to respond favorably to his request to search for opportunities elsewhere.”