Q&A With DS Matt Wilson on Dauphiné Stage 8

Sun 9 Jun 2013

For the second consecutive Critérium du Dauphiné stage, Travis Meyer escaped from the bunch. The Western Australian was part of a 24-rider move that formed in opening kilometres of the final day of racing at the French tour. By the time the race reached the Col de Vars, Meyer was one of only five men left ahead of the peloton.

Meyer’s breakmate, Alessandro de Marchi (Cannondale) was the lone survivor from the shattered escape group. The Italian went on to claim the stage win 24” ahead of race leader Chris Froome (Sky).

Sport Director Matt Wilson answers a final set of questions about the last day of the Dauphiné. Check out how he responded to your inquires below.

Q: Is it frustrating that Travis did the bulk of the lead group work and another rider took the spoils?

No, not all. That’s cycling. Riders know when they go up the road that everyone needs to work together at first to make the break stick, but everyone goes in the move with their own plan or intention. Some riders will do more work and some will do less work once the gap has been established. Often times, it’s the more experienced rider that can find a way to do less work and then outfox the others before the finish.

Travis had an absolutely fantastic ride. We’re not at all frustrated with the way that stage played out. He was leading the race near the end. We’re happy with what he did today.

Q: Was having Michael Matthews give climbing a shot today the plan at the start of the stage? Was he expecting to be climbing with some of the big names?

No, not all. I think he surprised himself to find out how good his climbing legs were today. The last couple stages have been very, very hard, but Michael knows he has some rest before his next race. He decided to give it a crack, and he felt good. It was great to see him follow Alejandro Valverde (Movistar) off the front.

Q; The coverage moved away from Matthews before we could see how he fared. What happened?

Michael was caught at the bottom of the Col du Vars descent, and he was dropped on the final climb to Risoul.

Q: Is there any reason the rain coats don’t come in team colours? All the teams wearing black or white make it difficult to find our riders – does the team have the same problem?

In these conditions, it’s always hard for us to find each other no matter what we’re wearing. Coloured rain jackets are hard to come by. It’s makes it a bit more difficult, but it’s not a major problem.

Q: What are your overall impressions of the week?

We’re very, very happy with the way things went this week. As we’ve said all along, we didn’t come to the Dauphiné with any climbing specialists. We’re a team of opportunists, and we saw our riders go after opportunities all week. Travis Meyer took his chance in the break the last two days, and he was in contention for the win today. He did exactly what we wanted to see riders to do here.

Of course, it’s a little disappointing not to come away with a stage win. Everyone had a shot this week. We were close on stage three with Michael Matthews in the sprint, and Trav wasn’t the only in the breaks. Dan [Teklehaimanot] went up the road, and Fumy [Beppu] did, too. Wes [Sulzberger] wrapped things up in 26th overall. It was a positive week of racing for the entire team.