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Matthews, though, had recuperated sufficiently from covering Van Avermaet, and opened a sprint that Van Avermaet couldn’t respond to.

Photo: Frank Rud Jensen

MICHAEL MATTHEWS

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ORICA-SCOTT

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TOUR OF UTAH

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10.08.2013 @ 08:58 Posted by Jesper Ralbjerg

In one of the most commanding peformances of his career, Michael Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) won stage four of the Tour of Utah on Friday night in Salt Lake City.

 

Matthews followed an in-form Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) when the Belgian launched an attack on a false flat some 300 metres from the finish line, and subsequently unleashed a sprint that no one could rival.


Having outsprinted Van Avermaet in stage two already, Matthews thus claimed his second stage win in the Tour of Utah this year, making it a memorable first for Orica-GreenEdge in the American stage race.

Van Avermaet suffered a mechanical problem immediately after the flag had dropped, but was swiftly brought back to the safety of the bunch by a teammate.

 

In what seemed likely to form the early breakaway of the day Marsh Cooper (Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies) and Nelson Oliviera (Radioshack-Leopard) were joined by Lawson Craddock (Bontrager) and a Bissell rider but their escape attempt was short lived, as Ryder Hesjedal (Garmin-Sharp) led the train for overall leader Lachlan Morton.

 

Numerous attacks followed, but the escapes never managed to create major gaps as Garmin-Sharp and Orica-GreenEDGE joined forces to make sure that the lead never exceeded the 25 seconds mark.

As the peloton approached the finish line, Optum-Kelly Benefit Strategies and BMC assembled their lead out trains, but rather than sit back and await another head-to-head sprint with Matthews, Van Avermaet caught everybody by surprise as he launched a ferocious attack in a blistering display of aggression. However, Matthews regained his senses quickly enough to go after the Belgian.

Alessandro Bazzana (United Healthcare) bridged the gap to the front duo in pursuit of the stage. Matthews, though, had recuperated sufficiently from covering Van Avermaet, and opened a sprint that Van Avermaet couldn’t respond to.

 

Lachlan Morton (Garmin-Sharp) maintained his overall lead, while Van Avermaet, who claimed his third successive runner-up spot, remains second, 26 seconds adrift.

 

Tour of Utah, stage four result:

1 Michael Matthews (Aus) Orica GreenEDGE  1:10:17         

2 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team                                                      

3 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Bontrager Cycling Team                                                    

4 Alessandro Bazzana (Ita) United Healthcare Pro Cycling                               

5 Jesse Anthony (USA) Optum p/b Kelly Benefit Strategies                                                        

6 Kiel Reijnen (USA) United Healthcare Pro Cycling                                            

7 Gregory Obando Brenes (CRi) Champion System Pro Cycling                                                  

8 Janier Alexis Acevedo Calle (Col) Jamis-Hagens Berman                               

9 Ryder Hesjedal (Can) Team Garmin Sharp                                                          

10 Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Team Garmin Sharp

 

Tour of Utah general classification:

1 Lachlan David Morton (Aus) Team Garmin Sharp 14:59:24                          

2 Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team 0:00:26”      

3 Lucas Euser (USA) United Healthcare Pro Cycling 0:00:40”                          

4 Tiago Machado (Por) RadioShack-Leopard 0:00:43”          

5 Gregory Obando Brenes (CRi) Champion System Pro Cycling 0:00:44”   

6 Christopher Horner (USA) RadioShack-Leopard                                               

7 Benjamin King (USA) RadioShack-Leopard                                                         

8 Benjamin Day (Aus) United Healthcare Pro Cycling                                         

9 Matthew Busche (USA) RadioShack-Leopard                                                    

10 Peter Stetina (USA) Team Garmin Sharp

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