Matthews moves to 5th overall after a testing time trial on Paris-Nice stage three

30-year-old Michael Matthews gave his everything during today’s race against the clock on day three in Paris-Nice, crossing the line just nine seconds shy of what was required to retain his overall race lead, subsequently slipping down to fifth position overall.

As the last rider down the ramp, Matthews knew it would be a tough feat to retain the race lead but set out with high ambitions, blasting around the predominantly flat 14.4km course in Gien, with a solid time of 17 minutes 57 seconds, good enough for 17th place on the stage.

In the end, it was Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) who came out on top, stealing the stage victory to move into the race lead, having started the day just 14seconds down on the Team BikeExchange rider.

Tomorrow the race heads into the mountains for day four with the first summit finish, where the general classification is set to take shape once again.

Michael Matthews
“I think after a pretty solid two days already, now to come into this, I was probably already a little bit on the back foot. After the race, I looked at my power and it was really good, so obviously just it is just some fine tuning in and out of the corners, which is probably just race fitness, it is only my third day racing. 

“In the end it was a decent ride, obviously not my best day but I gave it everything and it was a really nice day in the yellow jersey. Unfortunately I lost it but tomorrow is another day and we’ve got some climbs coming up so hopefully we can give Lucas (Hamilton) a good crack and see what he can do.

“There’s still maybe one or two opportunities coming up for me to go for another stage win so I will keep dreaming with that.”

2021 Paris-Nice Results – Stage 3:
1. Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) 17’34″12
2. Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quickstep) +00″
3. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) +06″
17. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) +0:23

General Classification after stage 3:
1. Stefan Bissegger (EF Education-Nippo) 17’34″12
2. Remi Cavagna (Deceuninck-Quickstep ST
3. Primoz Roglic (Team Jumbo-Visma) +0:06
5. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) +0:09

Photo courtesy of Getty Images