Vuelta Ciclista a La Rioja - Race Overview

Michael Matthews has taken ORICA-GreenEDGE’s first win on European soil for the 2014 season, with a convincing bunch sprint victory at the Vuelta a La Rioja in Basque Country. Matthews bettered his second place position at this event last year, finishing off an exemplary display of teamwork by the Australian team to take the win ahead of Francesco Lasca (Caja Rural- Seguros RGA) in second and Carlos Barbero (Euskadi) in third.

The team went into the 164.7 kilometre warm up race for this week’s six day Vuelta al Pais Vasco firmly focused on getting Matthews to the line for the win. A flurry of early attacks led to the formation of the day’s main breakaway, which included Christian Meier and Damien Howson. Once that was reeled in, a smaller break of six riders managed to escape and maintained a slim advantage over the bunch into the final kilometres of the race. With around 10 kilometres remaining, ORICA-GreenEDGE moved to the front and worked systematically to bring ensure a bunch sprint for Matthews.

“It’s obviously nice to win at any time, but the first win of the year is always hard to get, Once you get the first one they usually keep coming. The lead out was perfect today, probably the best lead-out I’ve experienced with any team. Hopefully the win today gives the team confidence that I can win and if we can keep these lead outs going there should be more wins to come.” - Michael Matthews

“We had Meier and Howson in the main break, but we decided it was too big. It started to get out of control, so we worked to bring it back. A smaller break then went and Damien Howson assumed responsibility for keeping that break within reach. The guys worked together to bring that back. Brett Lancaster stepped in at the finish and did a great job to drop Michael Matthews off in a winning position.” - Sport Director Neil Stephens

Place Rider/Team Time
1 Michael Matthews (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 3:54:34
2 Francesco Lasca (Ita) - Caja Rural - Seguros RGA ST
3 Carlos Babero (Esp) - Euskadi ST
4 Vicente Garcia (Esp) - Louletano - Dunas Douradas ST
5 Serge Shilov (Rus) - Lokosphinx ST
6 Jorge Martin Montenegro (Arg) - Louletano - Dunas Douradas ST
7 Evgeny Shalunov (Rus) - Lokosphinx ST
8 Brett Lancaster (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
9 Pablo Lastras (Esp) - Movistar ST
10 Jon Aberasturi (Esp) - Euskadi ST
Place Mitchelton-SCOTT Riders Time
1 Michael Matthews (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 3:54:34
8 Brett Lancaster (Aus) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
27 Christian Meier (Can) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
49 Michael Albasini (Swi) - ORICA-GreenEDGE ST
57 Pieter Weening (Ned) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:00:35
68 Simon Yates (GBr) - ORICA-GreenEDGE 0:02:52