Michael Matthews beat the Olympic champion Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) on today’s fourteenth stage of the Tour de France in Rodez with the Australian giving Team Sunweb a second straight victory after Warren Barguil won in Foix. The steep finish also saw splits in the lead group with Chris Froome (Team Sky) moving back into the yellow jersey.
A stellar performance in a chaotic finale saw Matthews delivered to the uphill finish in optimum position and he was then able to finish off his team mates efforts, beating van Avermaet and Edvald Baossen Hagen (Dimension Data) into second and third respectively.
The steep finish resulted in gaps emerging between the leading contenders. Froome finished just 1″ down on Matthews with Aru coming in 25″ behind. This enable Froome to leapfrog the Italian into first, and now leads by 18″. Romain Bardet also lost some time, finishing 5″ down on Matthews.
“I’m super happy to get the win for the team today,” explained Matthews after the finish. “We were all really focused even though there was a lot of pressure and expectations. The team have worked so hard for the whole Tour de France so for us to take two in a row is incredible and we couldn’t ask for anything more.
“The dedication from everyone shows how motivated they are and how much they believe in the same shared goal. We’ve prepared and worked so hard hoping to take the win today and we’ve done it, it’s a really special victory for us all.”