Michael Matthews (right) and Frederik Backaert lead the way during Stage 5 of the Tour De France. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)
Michael Matthews (right) and Frederik Backaert lead the way during Stage 5 of the Tour De France. (Photo by Tim de Waele/Getty Images)

Aussie slams Tour bully-boy tactics

A DEVASTATED Michael Matthews has again slammed his sprint rivals, saying they "should be in the boxing ring" after another frantic finish at the Tour de France.

Slovak superstar Peter Sagan strengthened his grip on the green jersey with his first win of this year's race, reaching a top speed of 65km/h on a flat sprint into Colmar.

Wout van Aert was second and Matteo Trentin third after a gruelling 175.5km day that featured more than 2200m of climbing.

Frenchman Julian Alaphilippe retained the yellow jersey after a rollercoaster day that saw his compatriot Tony Gallopin run into a discarded umbrella.

But Matthews was devastated at the finish, riding around slowly on his own past the team bus after finishing seventh sitting with his head on his handlebars for some time.

"I'm not sure what these other guys are out here trying to do. Most of them should be in the boxing ring rather than a cycling race," Matthews told the Herald Sun.

"I guess that's sprinting, it's all part of it. I just wish I had a clear gap and clear wind to actually show my horsepower, but unfortunately I didn't get that today."

Peter Sagan does his best Incredible Hulk impression as he crosses the finish line.
Peter Sagan does his best Incredible Hulk impression as he crosses the finish line.

Matthews' Team Sunweb had done a lot of work earlier in the stage and were among the few teams to drive the pace on the climbs and eliminate the pure sprinters like Caleb Ewan, Elia Viviani, Andre Greipel and Alexander Kristoff.

Matthews was well-placed in the closing kilometres, but in what sports director Luke Roberts termed a "small mistake", the Aussie lost crucial position on a roundabout 500m from the line as those around him tore through the corners.

 

"I needed better positioning into that final few hundred metres," Matthews said.

"I think I was quite good, but everyone sort of did some crazy moves going into that final roundabout which really pushed me back a lot of places and then from then on it's just a washing machine.

"The day pretty much went exactly how we dreamed. We got rid of a lot of the sprinters and they set me up good, but … I just wasn't in the right place at the right time.

"At the moment I'm getting a bit confused in the sprints for some reason."

Roberts, Sunweb's Australian tactician, said Matthews could take heart from 2017 when he rebounded from a similar low ebb to take the green jersey.

The Peleton makes its way through the town of Ammerschwihr on Stage 5.
The Peleton makes its way through the town of Ammerschwihr on Stage 5.

Ironically, it was Stage 6 of that Tour that he also took a swipe at his rivals for dangerous riding.

"He went into that roundabout just too far back. A lot will take more risks than him that's why he's often better in an uphill sprint," Roberts said.

"We had the same a couple of years ago, he was chasing after the green jersey and the flat sprints weren't going as he hoped and … we just kept reassuring him that he was on track and eventually things started to turn around.

"We're only five days in, there's 16 stages to go and plenty of opportunities for Michael as well."

Earlier in the day, Australian Simon Clarke was part of a four-man breakaway that was never given much rope and he was eventually caught by the peloton with 35km remaining.

One of the hardest days of the entire Tour awaits the riders on Thursday, with the 160.5km slog from Mulhouse to the top of La Plance des Belles Filles expected to shake-up the general classification.

RESULTS FROM STAGE 5

175km ride from Saint-Die-des-Vosges to Colmar

1. Peter Sagan (SVK/BOH) 4hr2min33sec

2. Wout van Aert (BEL/TJV) same time

3. Matteo Trentin (ITA/MTS) s.t.

4. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA/TBM) s.t.

5. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/CCC) s.t.

6. Julien Simon (FRA/COF) s.t.

7. Michael Matthews (AUS/SUN) s.t.

8. Nils Politt (GER/TKA) s.t.

9. Jasper Stuyven (BEL/TFS) s.t.

10. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA/DQT) s.t.

*********************************

39. Richie Porte (AUS/TFS) s.t.

104. Luke Durbridge (AUS/MTS) s.t.

105. Rohan Dennis (AUS/TBM) s.t.

137. Michael Hepburn (AUS/MTS) 16:58

155. Caleb Ewan (AUS/LTS) s.t.

OVERALL STANDINGS

1. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA/DQT) 18hr44min12sec

2. Wout van Aert (BEL/TJV) 14

3. Steven Kruijswijk (NED/TJV) 25

4. George Bennett (NZL/TJV) same time

5. Michael Matthews (AUS/SUN) 40

6. Egan Bernal (COL/INS) s.t.

7. Geraint Thomas (WAL/INS) 45

8. Enric Mas (ESP/DQT) 46

9. Peter Sagan (SVK/BOH) 50

10. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/CCC) 51

11. Michael Woods (CAN/EF1) s.t.

12. Wilco Kelderman (NED/SUN) s.t.

13. Thibaut Pinot (FRA/GFC) 52

14. Rigoberto Uran (COL/EF1) 53

15. Tejay van Garderen (USA/EF1) s.t.

16. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA/TBM) 56

17. Matteo Trentin (ITA/MTS) 57

18. David Gaudu (FRA/GFC) s.t.

19. Rudy Molard (FRA/GFC) s.t.

20. Nicolas Roche (IRL/SUN) 1:00

21. Vincenzo Nibali (ITA/TBM) 1:01

22. Alexey Lutsenko (KAZ/AST) 1:06

23. Adam Yates (ENG/MTS)s.t.

24. Daryl Impey (RSA/MTS) s.t.

25. Jakob Fuglsang (DEN/AST) s.t.

26. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/AST) s.t.

27. Pello Bilbao (ESP/AST) s.t.

28. Patrick Konrad (AUT/BOH) 1:11

29. Emanuel Buchmann (GER/BOH) s.t.

30. Nicolas Edet (FRA/COF) 1:18

31. Jesus Herrada (ESP/COF) s.t.

32. Edvald Boasson Hagen (NOR/TDD) 1:19

33. Roman Kreuziger (CZE/TDD) s.t.

34. Tiesj Benoot (BEL/LTS) s.t.

35. Daniel Martin (IRL/UAD) 1:28

36. Rui Costa (POR/UAD) s.t.

37. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 1:30

38. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) s.t.

39. Mikel Landa (ESP/MOV) s.t.

40. Marc Soler (ESP/MOV) s.t.

41. Jasper Stuyven (BEL/TFS) 1:34

42. Giulio Ciccone (ITA/TFS) 1:43

43. Richie Porte (AUS/TFS) s.t.

44. Fabio Felline (ITA/TFS) s.t.

45. Bauke Mollema (NED/TFS) s.t.

46. Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 1:44

47. Andrey Amador (CRC/MOV) 1:48

48. Michael Valgren (DEN/TDD) 2:00

49. Rein Taaramae (EST/TDE)2:07

50. Jack Haig (AUS/MTS) 2:15

51. Warren Barguil (FRA/PCB) 2:16

52. Xandro Meurisse (BEL/WGG) 2:18

53. Fabio Aru (ITA/UAD)2:19

54. Guillaume Martin (FRA/WGG) 2:23

55. Dylan Teuns (BEL/TBM) 2:27

56. Gianni Moscon (ITA/INS) 2:33

57. Simon Geschke(GER/CCC) 2:44

58. Gregor Muhlberger (AUT/BOH) 2:55

59. Sebastien Reichenbach (SUI/GFC) 2:56

60. Maximilian Schachmann (GER/BOH)3:03

61. Mathias Frank (SUI/ALM) 3:12

62. Alexis Vuillermoz (FRA/ALM) 3:16

63. Wout Poels (NED/INS) 3:31

64. Mikael Cherel(FRA/ALM) 3:43

65. Nils Politt (GER/TKA) 4:11

66. Tanel Kangert (EST/EF1) 4:13

67. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/INS) 4:31

68. Alessandro De Marchi (ITA/CCC) 4:40

69. Julien Bernard (FRA/TFS) 5:03

70. Julien Simon (FRA/COF) 5:41

71. Laurens De Plus (BEL/TJV) 5:48

72. Joey Rosskopf (USA/CCC) 5:52

73. Lennard Kamna (GER/SUN) 9:05

74. Matej Mohoric (SLO/TBM) 9:30

75.Jonathan Castroviejo (ESP/INS) 9:34

76. Sergio Henao (COL/UAD) 9:39

77. Omar Fraile (ESP/AST) 10:48

78. Romain Sicard (FRA/TDE)11:02

79. Gorka Izagirre (ESP/AST) s.t.

80. Jan Tratnik (SLO/TBM) 12:37

81. Ilnur Zakarin (RUS/TKA) 12:38

82. Alberto Bettiol (ITA/EF1) 14:20

83. Dries Devenyns (BEL/DQT)15:00

84. Maxime Bouet (FRA/PCB) 17:36

85. Anthony Roux (FRA/GFC) 18:36

86. Nelson Oliveira (POR/MOV) 18:41

87. Simon Clarke(AUS/EF1) 18:52

88. Rohan Dennis (AUS/TBM) 19:06

89. Pierre-Luc Perichon (FRA/COF) 19:25

90. Mads Wurtz (DEN/TKA) 19:30

91. Odd Christian Eiking (NOR/WGG) 19:34

92. Lilian Calmejane (FRA/TDE) 20:51

93. Soren Kragh (DEN/SUN) 21:52

94. Stefan Kung(SUI/GFC) 21:56

95. Thomas De Gendt (BEL/LTS) 22:11

96. Jens Keukeleire (BEL/LTS) 22:15

97. Jose Goncalves (POR/TKA) 22:38

98. Andrea Pasqualon (ITA/WGG)22:41

99. Luke Durbridge (AUS/MTS) 22:49

100. Jasper De Buyst (BEL/LTS) 23:07

101. Anthony Perez (FRA/COF) 23:14

102. Mike Teunissen (NED/TJV) 23:15

103. Benjamin King (USA/TDD)23:35

104. Oliver Naesen (BEL/ALM) 23:44

105. Paul Ourselin (FRA/TDE) 23:50

106. Natnael Berhane (ERI/COF) 23:58

107. TonyGallopin (FRA/ALM) 24:21

108. Elie Gesbert (FRA/PCB) 24:24

109. Yves Lampaert (BEL/DQT) 24:28

110. Damiano Caruso (ITA/TBM)24:29

111. Lukasz Wisniowski (POL/CCC) 24:40

112. Hugo Houle (CAN/AST) 24:44

113. Amael Moinard (FRA/PCB) 24:45

114. Tim Wellens(BEL/LTS) 24:50

115. Toms Skujins (LAT/TFS) 24:54

116. Benoit Cosnefroy (FRA/ALM) 25:12

117. Nikias Arndt (GER/SUN) 25:16

118. Reinardt Janse van Rensburg (RSA/TDD) 26:29

119. Simon Yates (ENG/MTS) 26:36

120. Daniel Oss (ITA/BOH) 26:42

121. SergePauwels (BEL/CCC) 26:47

122. Ivan Garcia (ESP/TBM) 27:08

123. Lars Bak (DEN/TDD) 27:20

124. Christophe Laporte (FRA/COF) 27:28

125. Elia Viviani (ITA/DQT) 29:03

126. Maxime Monfort (BEL/LTS) 29:40

127. Dylan van Baarle (NED/INS) 30:17

128. Michael Schar(SUI/CCC) 30:25

129. Anthony Turgis (FRA/TDE) 30:39

130. Imanol Erviti (ESP/MOV) 30:59

131. Marcus Burghardt (GER/BOH) 31:00

132. Niccolo Bonifazio (ITA/TDE) 31:04

133. Sven Erik Bystrom (NOR/UAD) 31:07

134. Jasper Philipsen (BEL/UAD) 31:08

135. AnthonyDelaplace (FRA/PCB) 31:14

136. Alexis Gougeard (FRA/ALM) 31:16

137. Patrick Bevin (NZL/CCC) 31:21

138. Aime De Gendt (BEL/WGG) 31:23

139. Sebastian Langeveld (NED/EF1) 32:38

140. Florian Vachon (FRA/PCB) 32:41

141. Rick Zabel (GER/TKA)32:55

142. Stephane Rossetto (FRA/COF) 33:11

143. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA/TDD) 33:23

144. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/UAD) 33:26

145. Koen de Kort (NED/TFS) 33:27

146. Roger Kluge (GER/LTS) 33:28

147. William Bonnet (FRA/GFC) 33:35

148. Fabien Grellier (FRA/TDE)s.t.

149. Marco Haller (AUT/TKA) 33:46

150. Caleb Ewan (AUS/LTS) 33:51

151. Kevin Van Melsen (BEL/WGG) 33:54

152. Luke Rowe (WAL/INS)33:55

153. Alex Dowsett (ENG/TKA) 34:10

154. Kevin Ledanois (FRA/PCB) 34:30

155. Christopher Juul-Jensen (DEN/MTS) 34:35

156.Magnus Cort (DEN/AST) 34:55

157. Vegard Laengen (NOR/UAD) 34:56

158. Steve Cummings (ENG/TDD) 35:08

159. Cees Bol (NED/SUN)35:09

160. Kasper Asgreen (DEN/DQT) 35:21

161. Michael Hepburn (AUS/MTS) 35:22

162. Andre Greipel (GER/PCB) 35:30

63. AmundGrondahl Jansen (NOR/TJV) 35:39

164. Maximiliano Richeze (ARG/DQT) 35:55

165. Niki Terpstra (NED/TDE) 35:56

166. Lukas Postlberger(AUT/BOH) 36:11

167. Carlos Verona (ESP/MOV) 36:15

168. Dylan Groenewegen (NED/TJV) 36:51

169. Michael Morkov (DEN/DQT) 36:52

170. Tony Martin (GER/TJV) 37:30

171. Matthieu Ladagnous (FRA/GFC) 37:43

172. Tom Scully (NZL/EF1) 38:29

173. Jens Debusschere(BEL/TKA) 39:34

174. Chad Haga (USA/SUN) 39:51

175. Frederik Backaert (BEL/WGG) 41:47

176. Yoann Offredo (FRA/WGG) 43:26

CLASS STANDINGS POINTS

1. Peter Sagan (SVK/BOH) 144.

2. Michael Matthews (AUS/SUN) 97.

3. Elia Viviani (ITA/DQT) 92.

4. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA/TBM) 88.

5. Matteo Trentin (ITA/MTS) 75.

6. Mike Teunissen (NED/TJV) 64.

7. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/CCC) 62.

8. Jasper Stuyven (BEL/TFS) 48.

9. Caleb Ewan (AUS/LTS) 46.

10. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA/TDD) 40.

KING OF THE MOUNTAINS

1. Tim Wellens (BEL/LTS) 17.

2. Toms Skujins (LAT/TFS) 9.

3. Xandro Meurisse (BEL/WGG) 6.

4. Simon Clarke (AUS/EF1) 4.

5. Greg Van Avermaet (BEL/CCC) 2.

6. Wilco Kelderman (NED/SUN) 1.

7. Michael Schar (SUI/CCC) 1.

8. Julian Alaphilippe (FRA/DQT) 1.

9. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 1.

10. Lennard Kamna (GER/SUN) 1.

News Corp Australia


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