Michael Matthews claimed his fourth top-10 finish of this year’s La Vuelta a España for Team BikeExchange, accelerating hard in the final metres of today’s uphill finish to stage six, before battling to a respectable sixth place on the challenging finish.
In an all or nothing approach, the 30-year-old quickly moved up the strung out bunch as they began the final two-kilometre uphill to position himself at the head of the chasing bunch before launching a move.
With the breakaway remains dangling just ahead, the victory was still in sight as Matthews took his only opportunity, accelerating away from the group of GC favourites.
Gaining some distance and barrelling towards the sole leader, it looked for a moment like the win was within reach however, behind Primoz Roglic made a fierce attack and drew the chasers up to Matthews in pursuit of the leader.
Magnus Cort, the only remaining breakaway rider ahead, just managed to hold off the chasers to steal the victory, with Matthews fighting with every pedal stroke to finish the day in a well fought out sixth place, after Team BikeExchange assisted with the long chase early on to try and bring back the breakaway half-way through the stage.
Michael Matthews – 6th
“I started quite far back on the bottom of the final two kilometre climb, I had to make up a few fair spots which was unfortunate. But once I caught the front of the bunch, I could tell that the GC guys where more looking at each other than anything else so I thought the only chance to go for the stage win instead of second place was to hit out then.
So I tried, I could have also just stayed in the bunch and finished the stage in second place but we are here to win, so it was all or nothing today.”
2021 La Vuelta a España- Stage 6 result:
1. Magnus Cort 3:30:53
2. Primoz Roglic ST
3. Andrea Bagioli +0:02
6. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) +0:06
Photo courtesy of Getty Images