TOUR DE FRANCE, STAGE 16
The lumpy stage into the Rhône Valley was perfecly suited to Michael Matthews, but as well as a potential win, the day offered the Australian the chance to make up ground on Marcel Kittel in the green jersey competition. Team Sunweb had won stages 13 and 14, with Warren Barguil and then Matthews, so their tails were up and they sensed early that Kittel was there for the taking. The pace was instantly high on the two categorised climbs in succession out of Le-Puy-en-Velay, and on hearing Kittel was already struggling at the back, Sunweb massed on the front to isolate the Quick-Step rider early, or as Matthews later said, he attacked “like a maniac” to distance him. It worked, and Sunweb pushed the pace for the best part of the next 100km until the intermediate sprint, which Matthews won. Into the flat valley, crosswinds started to play havoc, splintering the front group with 15km to go. Barguil neutralised a late move by Daniele Bennati while Nikias Arndt led Matthews out through the technical final stretch, positioning him on Greg Van Avermaet’s wheel before he opened his sprint and held off Edvald Boasson Hagen and John Degenkolb on the line. It was a complete team performance where every rider played their part.
Won stages 14 & 16 at the Tour, and added his irst green jersey in Paris