Back to back top fives for Matthews in Canada after sprinting to 4th in GP Cycliste de MontrealSun 11 Sep 2016
After finishing fifth in Quebec on Friday Australian Michael Matthews rounded off a weekend of Canadian racing for ORICA-BikeExchange by taking fourth from the reduced bunch sprint in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montreal today.
The long 205kilometre race saw an early breakaway of six riders stay away for the majority of the day before finally being caught with around 20kilometres to go after strong work by ORICA-BikeExchange on the front.
The finale was fast and hectic with a reduced bunch shaping up to contest the sprint after a crash on the final corner split the field.
2016 Paris-Nice stage winner Matthews was clipped slightly in the crash and fought back solidly to take fourth behind race winner Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) with Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) in second.
Sport director Laurenzo Lapage was pleassed with the efforts of the team over the two races.
"It was a really strong team effort today," said Lapage. "We brought the race back together time and again before the finale and we knew that if the group comes back together too soon in a race lke this it can be dabgerous so we had to be aware."
"The finish was fast and pretty hectic, we set Michael (Matthews) up perfectly before the crash occured and that disrupted Michael slightly. He ended up coming from quite a long way back when he started his sprint and did well to finish in the top five again.
"Van Avermaet and Sagan are the two strongest guys in the world at the moment and we competed hard against them, both here in Montreal and in Quebec on Friday. It's been a solid weekend of racing for us and we can be pleased with our performances."
How it happened:
Six riders attacked on the first circuit of Montreal and immediatley started to create a significant gap between themselves and the peloton.
The race settled quickly and after seven laps the six leaders had around six minutes on the peloton.
After 105kilometres of racing the situation remained exactly the same, discounting for the fluctuation of a few seconds here and there the gap was still six minutes.
The lead group reduced to four riders with less than 55kilometres to go as the peloton started to make inroads into the deficit now at three minutes 30seconds.
A large chasing group of 25 including Daryl Impey broke clear of the peloton inside the final 40kilometres started to close in on the four leaders before being brought back by the peloton.
The next 30kilometres saw the initial breakaway finally caught before more moves sprang off the front going into the last lap.
A split bunch flew into the final ten kilometres with a group off the front led by Lampre-Merida and including Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) with ORICA-BikeExchange leading the charge behind.
Rui Costa (Lampre-Merida) jumped clear with eight kilometres to go as the group came back together with Luke Durbridge leading the chasing pack.
The front of the bunch continued to fracture when Durbridge pulled over at five kilometres with Rui-Costa still out front and a group led by Sagan on the attack.
The Van-Avermaet group caught Rui Costa inside the final kilometre and a reduced bunch kick ensued with Van Avermaet taking the victory ahead of Sagan and Matthews.
GP Cycliste de Montreal results:
1. Greg Van Avermaet (BMC) 05:27:04
2. Peter Sagan (Tinkoff) ST
3. Diego Ulissi (Lampre-Merida) ST
4. Michael Matthews (ORICA-BikeExchange) ST