Second podium in two days for Matthews at Tour of PolandTue 5 Aug 2014
2014 Giro d’Italia stage winner Michael Matthews has finished on the podium for the second consecutive day at the Tour of Poland finishing third on stage three today.
In what was a messy bunch sprint, Matthews finished behind Theo Bos (BEL) and Luka Mezgec (GIA) after 174km and three hours 39 minutes of racing. The top-three result backing up his second place on stage two yesterday.
In the general classification battle, reigning champion Pieter Weening also finished amongst the peloton on the same time to keep his hopes alive.
“The goal today was to try to win the stage and for Pieter Weening to look after himself,” sport director David McPartland said.
“We lost Mitch (Docker) in a pretty nasty crash at a roundabout with about 35km to go.
“He got back on the bunch but when the guys are sitting on 60km per hour constantly with the tail wind, he was in no condition to contribute in the finish.
“Mitch is usually our last lead-out man and today was not able to do that so Michael was isolated in a pretty big way at the finish.
“With one of our critical guys down, Bling (Matthews) had to look after himself so considering that he has actually done really well to get on the podium.”
A four-man breakaway shaped the day’s action, but the peloton learnt from yesterday’s mistake and reeled them back in for a bunch sprint with ten kilometres to ride.
“We were trying to set up for Michael in a sprint finish so we had an interest to keep the race nice and close,” McPartland said.
“Four riders got off the front in the first 5km but the guys had a pretty stress free day as Omega kept the gap to three to three and half minutes so that helped contribute to our main goal.
“We put Cam (Meyer) on the front after the feed who also contributed.”
The Tour of Poland continues tomorrow with another flat but long stage before it hits the mountains. McPartland expects it to be another opportunity for Matthews, but is conscious of the fatigue on the third stage over 200km in four days.
“It’s the fourth day and they will be starting to feel it,” he said.
“It’s a longer stage 236km with 10km neutral so almost 250km. Psychologically it will be a tough one.”