Matthews hoping to make it third time lucky at the Tour of Flanders

Australian Michael Matthews is hoping it is third time lucky at the Tour of Flanders as he joins his Team BikeExchange-Jayco teammates for Sunday’s second Monument of 2022.

The 31-year-old arrives in Belgium fresh off the back of a win at the Tour of Catalunya, and despite pulling out of the race on stage three, ‘Bling’ is confident he can be in the mix at De Ronde.

Kelland O’Brien will race his first Monument on Sunday after his impressive mid-week ride to seventh place at Dwars door Vlaanderen, while Luke Durbridge will ride his eighth ‘Flanders’.

Campbell Stewart will continue his cobbled classics development alongside the experienced Alex Edmondson and Sam Bewley. New Zealander Dion Smith also comes into the squad after a string of strong results in Italy.  

The 106th edition of the Tour of Flanders features the usual short, sharp and often cobbled climbs that are emblematic of the gruelling nature of the race. The riders leave from Antwerp on a 272.5km route that will conclude with the famous cobbled combo of the Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg.

Team BikeExchange-Jayco Line-Up:
Luke Durbridge (AUS) 
Alex Edmondson (AUS)
Michael Matthews (AUS)
Kelland O’Brien (AUS)
Dion Smith (NZL)
Campbell Stewart (NZL)
Sam Bewley (NZL)

Michael Matthews:
“It’s Tour of Flanders number three for me. The first time I did it in 2019 I was sixth, and it was quite a good result, but last year I had two crashes and not much luck.
My shape seems to be good, and I come here with the win in Catalunya off the shoulders and that is what I went to Spain for. 

I believe that the cold weather on Sunday can definitely change the race. Some guys can work better in the cold and some others maybe not. For myself, I will tell you after the race! I don’t mind about the cold, it will be worse if it’s raining.”

Mathew Hayman (Sport Director):
“De Ronde is the highlight of the Belgian classics and a day that all the classics riders look forward to. 

With Michael Matthews coming in to strengthen our team, coming off the back of a win in Catalunya and a strong showing in Milano-San Remo, we are confident that we can play a role in the final on Sunday.”

2022 Tour of Flanders – Race Details:
Sunday, 3rd April: Antwerp – Oudeenarde, 272.5km

Photo: Getty Sport