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 "I think we were sprinting against each other unfortunately. We had two leaders so it is was it is. I would have liked the full support but it is what it is. We came in with two leaders."

Photo: Sirotti

MICHAEL MATTHEWS

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MITCHELTON-SCOTT

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SIMON GERRANS

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28.09.2015 @ 13:20 Posted by Renaud Breban

Multiple Grand Tour stage winner Michael Matthews has won the reduced bunch sprint to claim the silver medal at the UCI Road Cycling World Championships in Richmond, Virginia.

 

Matthews finished just three seconds behind four-time Tour de France green jersey champion Peter Sagan (Slovakia) who escaped on the penultimate climb inside the final three kilometres to win solo.

 

The 25-year-old’s podium finish resembled that of last year’s championship which saw Simon Gerrans, who claimed sixth today, sprint to second behind the late escape of Michal Kwiatkowski (Poland).

 

Immediately after the race Matthews, who had shown his return to form after suffering broken ribs at the Tour de France by winning a stage at the Tour of Alberta, was disappointed to miss out on the gold. 

 

“Unfortunately it’s not the gold," Matthews said. "I came here to win the race and I had the legs and had the form to win but Sagan slid away there and we weren’t able to catch him.

 

“I was about fifth or sixth wheel when he went. I thought that some other guys would close it but obviously they didn’t. Then I thought that we’d catch him with three kilometres to go and it being such a hard race but maybe we underestimated him a little bit. I’m really happy for him actually.

 

"I actually really enjoyed the race today. It was a really nice course with those cobbles and I've never really raced this sort of circuit before, with uphill cobbles. It was a Flanders sort of race and it was really fun."

 

"It's good in one way but bad in another way because we've not won one yet in these last few years. I think maybe we need a change of strategy.

 

“I was obviously disappointed coming in as a favorite for the race, coming up second [while] still having a few teammates in the final. But that’s racing in the end. I did a perfect sprint and a perfect race, and the team did a really good job putting me into position for the final there. Unfortunately we came up just short.

 

 

“It was a difficult one, whether I should try to jump myself or hopefully another team would try to close the gap. I think I had a bit of a mark on my back today. Every time I seemed to move, everyone seemed to follow me.

 

“I gambled on not attacking on the climb, waiting for the sprint. It’s hard to say now which way it would have gone if I did attack. But maybe there were still a fair few fresh guys there. They would have been able to follow me, so I think it was a good move to take a bit of a risk hoping someone else would close the gap, but unfortunately no one else did. It was a bit heartbreaking to see the jersey ride away like that.”

 

“I’ve been on the podium in every single classic I’ve done this year except for Montréal. I’ve got to be happy with that. It’s a huge step up from last year. I got to be the leader in all the races this year. I showed that I could be around the mark this year. Hopefully next year I can go for the win in those races. “

 

Matthews was frustrated not to have had the support of fellow team leader Gerrans.

 

"I think we were sprinting against each other unfortunately. We had two leaders so it is was it is," he told Cyclingnews. "I would have liked the full support but it is what it is. We came in with two leaders."

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