Matthews narrowly misses the podium with thrilling fourth place finish at Milan-San Remo

Australian Michael Matthews sprinted to fourth place in a thrilling finale to the first Monument of the season at Milan-San Remo.
The 31-year-old showed his consistency once again as he took his third top-five finish and fifth top-10 finish in La Classicissima di primavera, as he narrowly missed out on the third ‘San Remo’ podium of his career in the dash for the line.
The 293km trek from Milan to the coastline in San Remo built to its typical crescendo with the race bursting into life on the Cipressa. The peloton passed over the climb at a rapid rate, with Matthews constantly sat amongst the top-15 riders as a host of ‘big name’ riders were dropped.
The bunch was reduced to just 30 riders by time the race reached the foot of the Poggio, with Tadej Pogacar launching a series of attacks on the ascent. However, nobody could escape, with Matthews responding to each move as he crested the climb still in contention.
Matej Mohoric then launched a daring move on the descent and opened up a gap as the group behind hesitated. As the chasers struggled to organise a substantial chase, Mohoric raced away to take the win while Matthews sprinted to fourth place in the battle for the final podium spot.
Michael Matthews:
“It was definitely much faster on the Cipressa than other years, as we expected, UAE wanted to make it a hard final, I think to eliminate everyone’s teammates so it didn’t come down to a bunch sprint. They seemed to do that, I think they got a group of 30 of us over the Cipressa and on the Poggio, Tadej just continued to attack, but I think the wind didn’t favour him too much and we could all pretty much stay there.
Mohoric went on the descent and I think whoever was on the wheel, let the wheel go and he got a gap and then the motorbikes dragged him away. For me it was more just about letting the big favourites fight it out and then see what I could do in the final.

Today the accelerations were easier for me to follow, the high speed on the Cipressa was a bit harder, but the stop – start on the Poggio was actually better for me today, but when Mohoric went on the descent I was maybe four wheels behind him, and I couldn’t fit around the guys to follow him unfortunately.
When you have all the favourites in that big bunch, I sorted of expected them to fight it out and to bring the bunch back to fight for victory, but these days in cycling you never know what each other is going to do and nobody wants to bring each other to the line. In the end it was just a bit of a mess, nobody really wanted to fully commit to bring Mohoric back.”

Matt White (Sport Director):
“We knew it would be a different Milan-San Remo with Pogacar here, and it worked out as predicted. It was probably the fastest ascent of the Cipressa that I have ever seen, and a very, very select group in the final.
I think there were only eight riders at the top of the Poggio and Michael has done a good ride to be there. Unfortunately, he’s just missed the podium, but it’s still a very solid ride. There’s always some regrets, it’s a Monument and we would like to win it, but he did his best and it was a tricky final.”

2022 Milan-San Remo – Results:
1. Matej Mohoric (6:27:49)
2. Anthony Turgis +0:02
3. Mathieu van der Poel ST
4. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) ST

Photo: Getty Sport