Tuesday 27 September 2016

Matthews revels in tour breakthrough

Ian Parker

Published 13/07/2016 | 02:30

Matthews missed the 2014 Tour after sustaining injuries in training. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Matthews missed the 2014 Tour after sustaining injuries in training. Photo: Chris Graythen/Getty Images

Michael Matthews turned the page on years of bad luck in the Tour de France to complete his set of grand tour victories when he won the 10th stage after a royal breakaway yesterday.

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The Australian, with three Vuelta and two Giro d'Italia stage wins to his name, outsprinted his high-calibre breakaway companions after 197km from Andorra to Revel, benefiting from the support of two of his Orica-Bike Exchange team-mates.

World champion Peter Sagan, who reclaimed the green jersey for the points classification from Mark Cavendish, took second place and Norway's Edvald Boasson Hagen finished third.

Matthews missed the 2014 Tour after sustaining injuries in training and last year, he abandoned after breaking four ribs. "And this year already I had crashed twice. I was almost giving up on this race, thinking maybe the Tour de France is not for me," he said.

Sky's Chris Froome retained the leader's yellow jersey after finishing safe in the peloton 9.39 off the pace, with the same time as Dan Martin, who remains third overall. For Tinkoff's Sagan, it was a 17th second place in the Tour, but he could console himself after reclaiming the green jersey.

Today's 11th stage is a 162.5km from Carcassonne to Montpellier that should favour the sprinters.

Elsewhere, the Junior Men have kick-started the Irish campaign at the UEC Track Juniors and U-23 European Championships by breaking the national record in the team pursuit in Italy.

Tom Knight, Cathal Purcell, Luke Smith and Xeno Young finished seventh in 4.19.825, cutting three seconds off the record.

In the individual pursuit Josie Knight finished ninth, and Mark Downey was 17th in the men's event. In the junior scratch race Shenna McKiverigan rode a superb race to finish sixth.

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