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Cycling

Matthews tops TT specialists in Paris-Nice


  • By VeloNews.com
  • Published Mar. 6, 2016
  • Updated 3 hours ago


Michael Matthews put in the ride of the day in the Paris-Nice prologue, completing the 6.1-kilometer course in seven minutes, 39 seconds. Photo: Tim De Waele | TDWsport.com

Michael Matthews of Orica – GreenEdge delivered a surprise victory in the Paris-Nice prologue Sunday, finishing a 6.1km course in a time of 7:39. Among the final ten starters on the day, the Australian managed to best the time of Giant – Alpecin’s Tom Dumoulin, among the top favorites at the start of the action, by one second.

New Cannondale acquisition Patrick Bevin took third on the stage, which started and finished along the Seine river in Conflans-Sainte-Honorine, a Paris suburb.

Top 10, prologue

  • 1. Michael MATTHEWS, ORICA – GreenEDGE, in 7:39
  • 2. Tom DUMOULIN, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at :01
  • 3. Patrick BEVIN, CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING TEAM, at :02
  • 4. Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :06
  • 5. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :06
  • 6. Lieuwe WESTRA, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :07
  • 7. Geraint THOMAS, TEAM SKY, at :07
  • 8. Dries DEVENYNS, IAM CYCLING, at :08
  • 9. Sylvain CHAVANEL, DIRECT ENERGIE, at :09
  • 10. Jerome COPPEL, IAM CYCLING, at :09

 

Top 10 overall

  • 1. Michael MATTHEWS, ORICA – GreenEDGE, in 7:39
  • 2. Tom DUMOULIN, TEAM GIANT – ALPECIN, at :01
  • 3. Patrick BEVIN, CANNONDALE PRO CYCLING TEAM, at :02
  • 4. Jesus HERRADA LOPEZ, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :06
  • 5. Jon IZAGUIRRE INSAUSTI, MOVISTAR TEAM, at :06
  • 6. Lieuwe WESTRA, ASTANA PRO TEAM, at :07
  • 7. Geraint THOMAS, TEAM SKY, at :07
  • 8. Dries DEVENYNS, IAM CYCLING, at :08
  • 9. Sylvain CHAVANEL, DIRECT ENERGIE, at :09
  • 10. Jerome COPPEL, IAM CYCLING, at :09

 

Cloudy skies threatened to dump rain on the riders, but the bad weather mostly held off, and what started as a windy day became a bit calmer over the course of the stage, perhaps providing the late starters with an advantage.

The provisional lead changed hands from one rider to the next throughout the prologue. LottoNL – Jumbo’s Jos van Emden was one of the first potential favorites to hit the road, and he set a time that stood for a few minutes until his teammate Wilco Kelderman took control of the lead, though not for long.

IAM Cycling’s Jérôme Coppel set a faster mark and managed to hold on at the top for over an hour before Movistar’s Jesús Herrada deposed him.

From there, the lead changed hands every few minutes until almost the full start list had finished the course.

Bevin was among those who enjoyed a brief spell in the hotseat, before Dumoulin took over. The attention then shifted to well-known TT commodities Geraint Thomas (Sky) and Richie Porte (BMC Racing), but it was speedster Matthews who delivered the ride of the day just minutes later, bumping Dumoulin from the top spot on the leaderboard.

A former podium finisher in Australia’s national TT championships, Matthews put his impressive power on display on the short course in his first race of the year. None of the six riders who followed him could best his time.

“First day back in the grid and first win. It’s really a great start to the season,” Matthews said. “I was thinking a top five was possible on a course like this. It was hilly, with lots of technical corners, which suits me.

“I had high hopes but I didn’t think I could win this.”

Matthews now controls the overall race lead, and he will try to defend his jersey in Monday’s 198km stage 1 from Condé-sur-Vesgre to Vendôme.

“The next few stages are flat sprints so I should be able to keep the jersey,” he said. “We’ll see how far I can go. My climbing form is quite good so it will be nice to see how long I can keep it.”







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