Ger­man grabs Aussie in post- race scuf­fle

Townsville Bulletin - - SPORT -

AUS­TRALIAN sprinter Michael Matthews has slammed Ger­man John De­genkolb for grab­bing him in the af­ter­math of his stage 16 vic­tory at the Tour de France.

Team Sun­web rider Matthews crossed the line ahead of Nor­we­gian Ed­vald Boas­son Ha­gen and De­genkolb to claim his sec­ond stage win in three days and move to within 29 points of green jer­sey leader Mar­cel Kit­tel.

De­genkolb ges­tic­u­lated to­wards Matthews as he crossed the fin­ish line, in­censed that he had veered off­line in the high- speed fin­ish and pushed him to­wards the bar­ri­ers. How­ever, Matthews de­fended his tac­tics and said the Trek- Se­gafredo rider was the pro­tag­o­nist in an ugly post- stage in­ci­dent.

“He grabbed me by the neck. The of­fi­cials saw that. I don’t know what they’re go­ing to do about it,” Matthews said. “It was not very sports­man­like.” Matthews was adamant his run to the fin­ish line was clean.

“From my per­spec­tive I didn’t do any­thing wrong,” he said.

“I started my sprint and sprinted in a straight line. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but that’s up to him.

“If I had done any­thing wrong the race of­fi­cials would have told me.”

Kit­tel has 373 points to lead the sprint­ers’ clas­si­fi­ca­tion with Matthews on 344. To­mor­row’s 19th stage and Sun­day’s race fin­ish on the Champs El­y­sees present Matthews with his best chances of an­other stage win.

He has, how­ever, ear­marked the next two stages as op­por­tu­ni­ties to eat into Kit­tel’s ad­van­tage.

“Kit­tel is the fastest guy on the flats, so I won’t beat him on those, but I need to get points ev­ery­where else, like the hilly stages and up­hill sprints,” he said.

Pic­ture: AFP

BIG FIN­ISH: Aus­tralia's Michael Matthews ( sec­ond from left) wins the 16th stage of the Tour de France ahead of Nor­way's Ed­vald Boas­son Ha­gen ( right) and Ger­many's John De­genkolb ( left) who was sec­ond.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.