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Matthews picks up first stage win in 5 years

by The Associated Press | July 17, 2022 at 2:16 a.m.
Stage winner Australia's Michael Matthews celebrates as he crosses the finish line of the fourteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 192.5 kilometers (119.6 miles) with start in Saint-Etienne and finish in Mende, France, Saturday, July 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)


MENDE, France -- Michael Matthews soloed to victory on the 14th stage of the Tour de France on Saturday when defending champion Tadej Pogacar tried in vain to regain time on leader Jonas Vingegaard.

Matthews' fourth stage win came five years after the Australian last tasted victory in France.

The one-day classic specialist was in a group of 23 riders who broke from the pack after a frenetic start to the stage punctuated by a flurry of attacks on hilly ground from Saint-Etienne to Mende.

After spending the day at the front of the race, Matthews looked like he was about to crack when he was caught by Italian Alberto Bettiol on the last climb, but his grit helped him stay in contention and launch a counterattack that paid off.

"Matthews put on a show. He has days like that when he is very strong," said French rider Thibaut Pinot, who completed the stage podium behind Matthews and Bettiol. "He really amazes me. Doing the sprints he does, and climbing like he does, in his field he is the best."

With its constant ups and downs, the stage profile through the Massif Central was ideal for a breakaway. Not surprisingly, many riders with no personal ambition in the general classification were on the attack from the off to tear apart the peloton.

More surprisingly, defending champion Pogacar was also on the move as he tried to upset his rivals just six miles into the 120-mile route, forcing Vingegaard to react and chase.

The unorthodox strategy played havoc in the bunch as Primoz Roglic, a key lieutenant of Vingegaard within the Jumbo-Visma team, struggled at the back.

Belgian allrounder Wout Van Aert, also riding for Jumbo-Visma, worked hard to pace his leader through the mayhem and things finally calmed down after an hour of spectacular and brutal racing as the group of main contenders eased the pace to let the breakaway form.

"I accelerated a bit, I played a game a little bit, but they have a too strong team," Pogacar said.

Matthews, from the BikeExchange-Jayco team, launched a solo effort about 31 miles from the finish and reduced the leading group to just four men.

He was joined at the front by Bettiol in the Cote de la Croix Neuve, a short but punishing 1.8 mile ascent with a gradient of more than 10% followed by a short descent across the airfield to the finish line.

Matthews fought hard to stay in Bettiol's wheel then countered his rival near the top of the climb and never looked back.

The truce in the group of main contenders lasted until the Cote de la Croix Neuve when Pogacar attacked again. Vingagaard was unimpressed and followed at ease, with the pair crossing the line 12 minutes, 34 seconds behind.

"I tried," Pogacar said. "The legs are there ... I will keep trying."

Overall, Vingegaard leads Pogacar, still by two minutes, 22 seconds. Geraint Thomas, who was dropped by the pair in the final climb, was third, 2:43 off the pace.

Before Monday's rest day and a final week marked by the crossing of the Pyrenees and an individual time trial before the race reaches Paris in eight days, today's stage from Rodez to Carcassonne should favor sprinters.

Saturday’s Tour de France results

14th Stage

A 192.5-km (119-miles) Saint-Étienne—Mende

1. Michael Matthews, Australia, Team BikeExchange-Jayco, 4:30:53.

2. Alberto Bettiol, Italy, EF Education-Easypost, :15 behind.

3. Thibaut Pinot, France, Groupama-FDJ, :34.

4. Marc Soler, Spain, UAE Team Emirates, :50 behind.

5. Patrick Konrad, Austria, Bora-Hansgrohe, :58.

6. Jakob Fuglsang, Switzerland, Israel-Premier Tech, :58.

7. Felix Großschartner, Austria, Bora-Hansgrohe, 1:06.

8. Lennard Kämna, Germany, Bora-Hansgrohe, 1:12.

9. Simmon Geschke, Germany, COFIDIS, 1:12.

10. Louis Meintjes, South Africa, Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux, 1:12.

Also

16. Neilson Powless, United States, EF Education-EasyPost, 3:16.

20. Quinn Simmons, United States, Trek Segafredo, 6:22.

40. Sepp Kuss, United States, Jumbo-Visma, 15:12 behind

41. Brandon McNulty, United States, UAE Team Emirates, 16:06.

43. Matteo Jorgenson, United States, Movistar Team, 16:27.

55. Joe Dombrowski, United States, Astana-Qazaqstan, 20:34.

Overall Standings

1. Jonas Vingegaard, Denmark, Jumbo-Visma, 55:31:01.

2. Tadej Pogacar, Slovenia, UAE Team Emirates, 2:22 behind.

3. Geraint Thomas, Great Britain, Ineos Grenadiers, 2:43.

4. Romain Bardet, France, Team DSM, 3:01.

5. Adam Yates, Great Britain, Ineos Grenadiers, 4:06.

6. Nairo Quintana, Colombia, Team Arkea-Sasmic, 4:15.

7. Louis Meintjes, South Africa, Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux, 4:24.

8. David Gaudu, France, Groupama-FDJ, 4:24.

9. Thomas Pidcock, Great Britain, Ineos Grenadiers, 8:49.

10. Enric Mas, Spain, Movistar Team, 9:58.

Also

14. Neilson Powless, United States, EF Education-EasyPost, 18:11 behind.

17. Sepp Kuss, United States, Jumbo-Visma, 27:33 behind.

30. Brandon McNulty, United States, UAE Team Emirates, 1:00:05.

31. Matteo Jorgenson, United States, Movistar Team, 1:00:04.

57. Joe Dombrowski, United States, Astana-Qazaqstan, 1:31:28.

79. Quinn Simmons, United States, Trek Segafredo, 2:00:29.

Young Riders Standings

1. Tadej Pogacar, Slovenia, UAE Team Emirates, 55:33:23.

2. Thomas Pidcock, Great Britain, Ineos Grenadiers, 6:27 behind.

3. Brandon McNulty, United States, UAE Team Emirates, 57:43.

4. Matteo Jorgenson, United States, Movistar Team, 58:42.

5. Andreas Leknessund, Norway, Team DSM, 1:09:57.

6. Kevin Geniets, Luxembourg, Groupama-FDJ, 1:19:05.

7. Michael Storer, Australia, Groupama-FDJ, 1:19:15.

8. Georg Zimmerman, Germany, Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux, 1:32:11.

9. Fred Wright, Great Britain, Bahrain Victorious, 1:44:35.

10. Andreas Kron, Denmark, Lotto Soudal, 1:54:32.

Also

11. Quinn Simmons, United States, Trek Segafredo, 1:58:07.

Mountain Standings

1. Simmon Geschke, Germany, COFIDIS, 46 points.

2. Louis Meintjes, South Africa, Intermarche-Wanty-Gobert Materiaux, 39.

3. Neilson Powless, United States, EF Education-EasyPost, 37.

4. Jonas Vingegaard, Denmark, Jumbo-Visma, 36.

5. Giulio Ciccone, Italy, Trek-Segafredo, 35.

6. Pierre Latour, France, TotalEnergies, 35.

7. Thomas Pidcock, Great Britain, Ineos Grenadiers, 28.

8. Anthony Perez, France, COFIDIS, 26.

9. Tadej Pogacar, Slovenia, UAE Team Emirates, 26.

10. Chris Froome, Great Britain, Israel-Premier Tech, 22.


  photo  Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, and Belgium's Wout Van Aert, wearing the best sprinter's green jersey, ride with teammates during the fourteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 192.5 kilometers (119.6 miles) with start in Saint-Etienne and finish in Mende, France, Saturday, July 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
 
 
  photo  Team Jumbo Visma riders with Belgium's Wout Van Aert, wearing the best sprinter's green jersey, third from right, and Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, right, speeds downhill during the fourteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 192.5 kilometers (119.6 miles) with start in Saint-Etienne and finish in Mende, France, Saturday, July 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
 
 
  photo  The breakaway group rides during the fourteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 192.5 kilometers (119.6 miles) with start in Saint-Etienne and finish in Mende, France, Saturday, July 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
 
 
  photo  Stage winner Australia's Michael Matthews rides breakaway during the fourteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 192.5 kilometers (119.6 miles) with start in Saint-Etienne and finish in Mende, France, Saturday, July 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
 
 
  photo  Stage winner Australia's Michael Matthews celebrates as he crosses the finish line to win the fourteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 192.5 kilometers (119.6 miles) with start in Saint-Etienne and finish in Mende, France, Saturday, July 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus)
 
 
  photo  Stage winner Australia's Michael Matthews celebrates after crossing the finish line of the fourteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 192.5 kilometers (119.6 miles) with start in Saint-Etienne and finish in Mende, France, Saturday, July 16, 2022. (Guillaume Horcajuelo/Pool Photo via AP)
 
 
  photo  Stage winner Australia's Michael Matthews climbs during the fourteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 192.5 kilometers (119.6 miles) with start in Saint-Etienne and finish in Mende, France, Saturday, July 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
 
 
  photo  The pack with Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, rides during the fourteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 192.5 kilometers (119.6 miles) with start in Saint-Etienne and finish in Mende, France, Saturday, July 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
 
 
  photo  Denmark's Jonas Vingegaard, wearing the overall leader's yellow jersey, follows his teammates during the fourteenth stage of the Tour de France cycling race over 192.5 kilometers (119.6 miles) with start in Saint-Etienne and finish in Mende, France, Saturday, July 16, 2022. (AP Photo/Daniel Cole)
 
 

 


 Gallery: Tour de France 2022: Stage 14, Saint-Etienne



Print Headline: Matthews picks up first stage win in 5 years

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