Michael Matthews set for ‘dream’ debut at Strade Bianche

Australian Michael Matthews will make his Strade Bianche debut this weekend as the experienced sprinter headlines Team BikeExchange-Jayco’s assault on the gravel roads of Tuscany.

To work around the team’s strategy, there will be a strong variety of riders including Italian trio Matteo Sobrero, Kevin Colleoni and Alexander Konychev. Climbers Tsgabu Grmay and Jan Mass will help the team during the steep and hilly parts of the race, while Sam Bewley will work to protect and support the squad with his added horsepower.

The 184km undulating course in the Tuscan hills will see the peloton face 11 gravel sectors, with the last stretch of white roads coming with 10km to go. The race then finishes with its traditional sting in the tail as riders tackle the steep climb into the iconic Piazza del Campo.

Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-Up:
Sam Bewley (NZL)
Kevin Colleoni (ITA)
Tsgabu Grmay (ETH)
Alexander Konychev (ITA)
Jan Maas (NED)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Matteo Sobrero (ITA)

Michael Matthews:
“It’s always been a dream of mine to do Strade Bianche, for a lot of years I have been pushing to be able to start this race. In the past I always ended up training and focusing for Paris-Nice preparation instead, so it wasn’t possible to do Strade.

It is such an iconic race, here in Tuscany with all the white roads up and down through the Tuscan hills and I am really looking forward to starting the race. I have had really good preparation, everything went to plan, I just had a small break due to Covid when I was in altitude for a training camp, but I now feel good and I am looking forward to getting this next racing block under way.”

Gene Bates (Sport Director):
“We enter Strade Bianche with Michael Matthews as our leader for this edition. It will be his first experience in this unique race, but we are confident that he is well trained for it and with his riding characteristic, we can expect a good performance from him.

Strade is a tricky race, and we will have to work in the best way possible as a team, always be focused and make sure we are always well positioned throughout the whole race. For us this an important race and we will give it our best to take home the best result possible.”

2022 Strade Bianche – Race Details:
Saturday, 5th March : Siena – Siena : 184km

Photo: Getty Images