Eighth place for Matthews on stage eight of the Tour de Suisse

Sat 18 Jun 2016

Multiple Paris-Nice stage winner Michael Matthews had a strong performance in the individual time trial today to finish in a respectable eighth place on the penultimate stage of the WorldTour race. 

Ion Izagirre (Movistar) stopped the clock with the fastest time of 21minutes and 31seconds, with Matthews just 25seconds down.

Sport director Neil Stephens was pleased with the top ten result from Matthews after a solid week of racing.

"It was a great ride by Michael," Stephens said. "In his preparation for the race he's been doing a lot of work on the time trial bike and that helped him today." 

"In the mountains he hasn't been able to shine much or really work that hard. It's a different effort, it's been long and hard but not that intense so he wanted to give it a good go, push himself as much as he could and that's what he did and it gave him this good result."

The 16.6kilometre course started and finished above 1500metres altitude making it a challenging race against the clock following three long mountainous days. Coming straight off an altitude training block before the race, Matthews seemed to excel in the conditions.

"There were a couple of riders who said they felt a slight effect from the altitude," continued Stephens. "Luke Durbridge felt a bit down on power. He did a good ride but just didn't quite have it today."

"It was a taxing time trial. You can see the type of guys that were up there today, time trial riders but also the climbers."

How it happened:

The penultimate stage of the Tour de Suisse was a difficult one with very fast descents and a few climbs to contend with. 

After three consecutive mountainous days the time trial was a welcomed shorter race for many riders.

Kicking off the fast times was local rider Cancellara. Starting in the first half, he blasted around the distance stopping the clock in a time of 21minutes and 50seconds. 

He waited in the hot seat for most of the afternoon as riders finished one by one but failed to knock him off the top spot. 

Durbridge, the third rider to start for ORICA-GreenEDGE, finished 48seconds behind the Swiss rider having to settle for 25th place at the end of the day. 

Next up was Matthews, starting without a real focus on the stage after the hard previous days, who had an impressive ride finishing strongly in eighth place.

As the final main general classification riders began to finish, the time were getting closer and closer to Cancellara's and it came down to Izaguirre who wiped Cancellara of the top spot to finish 19seconds ahead. 

Tour de Suisse ITT results:

1. Ion Izagirre (Movistar) 21:31
2. Moreno Lopez (Astana) +0:18
3. Fabian Cancellara (Trek-Segafredo) +0:19
8. Michael Matthews (ORICA-GreenEDGE) +0:25 

General Classification after ITT:

1. Moreno Lopez (Astana) 29:32:03
2. Andrew Talansky (Cannondale) +0:08
3. Ion Izagirre (Movistar) +0:16
44. Chris Juul-Jensen (ORICA-GreenEDGE) +40:44