Michael ‘Bling’ Matthews now wears the coveted Green Jersey at the Tour de France after another action-packed and drama-filled day, this one playing out in the Hautes Alpes region in the South East of the country.
A fast and furious stage, crashes came early with German sprint sensation Marcel Kittel one of the casualties. Riding on but clearly in pain, Kittel later abandoned, not before Matthews beat Lotto Soudal’s Thomas De Gendt in the sprint to edge to within 9 points of Kittel’s ultimately futile total.
“After getting 50 points yesterday I knew that it was game on,” Matthews said after the stage finish.
“I knew beforehand that I had to be active to get those 20 points today and was aware that even if I did get those points it was still going to be difficult. You never want to see a guy out of a race like this, it’s been such a good battle up to this point and I hope Kittel is ok.”
Bicycling Australia spoke with Michael Matthews this week, here’s what he had to say.
Meanwhile, Lotto NL Jumbo rider Primoz Roglic soloed to stage victory, crossing the line more than a minute before General Classification riders including Chris Froome and Romain Bardet.
Tour De France Overall Top 5 After Stage 17
1 – Chris Froome Team Sky 73:27:26
2 – Rigoberto Uran Cannondale-Drapac + 27
3 – Romain Bardet AG2R La Mondiale – same time.
4 – Fabio Aru Astana Pro Team + 53
5 – Mikel Landa Team Sky + 1:24
The Tour de France continues tonight (Australian time) as the 179km Stage 18 starts in Briançon and tracks to a mountain finish at Col d’ Izoard.