Matthews 14th in messy sprint on stage 13 of Giro d'ItaliaFri 22 May 2015
Stage three winner Michael Matthews has finished 14th amongst a messy finish to stage 13 of the Giro d’Italia this afternoon.
At the conclusion of the bunch sprint, Matthews rolled in behind winner Sacha Modolo (Lampre – Merida), before a split in the field to further finishers.
A little earlier, a crash just outside three kilometres to go saw a number of general classification riders taken down and the pink jersey change hands from Alberto Contador (Tinkoff – Saxo) to Fabio Aru (Astana Pro Team).
The short 147km flat stage was not a particular target for ORICA-GreenEDGE, but the team took the opportunity to position Matthews for one last attempt at a result before the 24-year-old left the Italian grand tour.
“The boys did a very good job keeping Michael out of trouble today,” sport director Matt White said. “It was another messy and hectic final and in the end he wasn’t able to contest the sprint with the like of those in front.”
“Michael Hepburn did run into the crash towards the final kilometres there, but he has been assessed by the doctor and is OK.”
How it unfolded
The 13th stage was tipped as the easiest day of the 2015 Giro d’Italia as a short 147km pan flat journey from Montecchio Maggiore to Lido di Jesolo.
Having missed recent opportunities and as the penultimate chance for the fast men, the race was always destined for a bunch sprint.
Marco Frapporti (Androni Giocattoli – Sidermac), Rick Zabel (BMC Racing) and Jerome Pineau (IAM Cycling) were allowed to form as an unthreatening breakaway.
The trio was kept within two minutes of the peloton all day, but the bunch left them hanging out in front until finally bringing the race together with 15km to race.
A wet, technical final made for a more difficult conclusion, a crash just outside three kilometres taking down many of the general classification riders to see Aru move into the race lead.
Ahead, the scrappy final was bossed by a Lampre – Merida sprint train to deliver Modolo to victory.