Matthews Wins Tour de SlovÃ©nie Points Jersey; Yates Wins Best Young RiderSun 22 Jun 2014
Michael Matthews rounded out the podium on the final stage of the Tour de Slovénie. The points jersey winner was edged out by Elia Viviani (Cannondale) and Eduard Grosu (Vini Fantini Nippo) in the field sprint in Novo Mesto. In Matthews first race back since the Giro d'Italia, he finished first in the opening stage time trial, second from the reduced bunch on stage two and third in the stage four mass finish.
Simon Yates was similarly successful. The winner of the best young rider jersey, Yates recently returned to racing following surgery on a broken collarbone sustained at the Tour of Turkey in April. Yates finished seventh on the overall classification, 55” behind overall winner Tiago Machado (NetApp-Endura).
The final stage of racing followed a predictable pattern with a five rider breakaway going clear just before the first hour of racing came to a close. NetApp –Endura and RusVelo controlled the gap, leaving ORICA-GreenEDGE to focus on the finale. It was all hands on deck for Matthews in Novo Mesto in the fast finish.
COMMENTS FROM SPORT DIRECTOR MATT WILSON
The break took quite a long time to go today. It was nearly 40 kilometres before the five guys went away. The best-placed rider on the general classification was at 1’50, so NetApp and RusVelo rode the whole stage. It was great for us. We didn’t have to commit anyone to the chase. With only five guys left, that was ideal for us.
We went into the finish with a plan of how to attack the last couple kilometres. It sounds like the guys got it almost perfectly. Bling just wasn’t quite quick enough in the final. The team did everything right.
When all was said and done, Simon retained the young jersey and Bling retained the points jersey. We leave with a win, a second place and one third. It would have been nice to have converted one of the lessor podium places into another win, but I can’t be disappointed in the effort the team made this week. To walk away with two jerseys, a stage win and seventh overall is a job well done.