International Cycling

Matthews takes Paris-Nice lead

2015-03-11 18:13
Michael Matthews (AFP)

Saint-Pourain-sur-Sioule - Australia's Michael Matthews took the overall leader's yellow jersey in the Paris-Nice cycle race on Wednesday with his Orica teammates helping him to victory in the third stage.

The 24-year-old Matthews, who has stage wins to his credit in both the Tour of Spain and the Tour of Italy, edged home first ahead of Italians Davide Cimolai and Giacomo Nizzolo with fourth place going to Norwegian Alexander Kristoff.

"The team did a perfect job. I only started my sprint 150m from the line," said Orica rider Matthews.

"The previous days we tried without succeeding completely. This time, the team took control of the peloton from 5km and finally it was quite easy."

Matthews continued: "I wasn't sure what to expect before this Paris-Nice but we had really good training with the team in South Africa and we brought very strong guys to help me here. They did the hard work, mine was the easy part. To hold the yellow jersey is incredible.

"Tomorrow is a hard stage and I don't know the final climb. But I will hold on to this jersey for as long as I can."

Polish world champion Michal Kwiatkowski had held the overall lead from his win in the prologue, but Matthews earned enough bonus points as the stage winner on Wednesday to take over.

The early going in the 179-kilometre run down from Saint-Amand-Montron was marked by a breakaway by French pair Florian Vachon and Thomas Voeckler accompanied by Belgian champion Philippe Gilbert.

But they were reeled in by the peloton with about 10 kilometres to go after which Frenchman Romain Bardet, Belgian teammate Jan Bakelants and Paolo Tiralongo of Italy went clear.

In turn they were caught with two kilometres to go, setting up the sprint finish won by Matthews.

Thursday's 204km fourth stage of the 'Race to the Sun' includes eight climbs with a final highlight up the Croix de Chaubouret pass overlooking St Etienne.

Results on Wednesday in the third stage of the Paris-Nice cycle race:

1. Michael Matthews (AUS/Orica), the 179 kms in 4 h 32:12, 2. Davide Cimolai (ITA/LAM) same time, 3. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA/TRE) same time, 4. Alexander Kristoff (NOR/KAT) same time, 5. Jos Joaquin Rojas (ESP/MOV) same time, 6. Matti Breschel (DEN/TIN) same time, 7. Moreno Hofland (NED/LNL) same time, 8. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/COF) same time, 9. Bryan Coquard (FRA/EUC) same time, 10. Arnaud Dmare (FRA/FDJ)

Overall standings:

1. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI) 14h25:27, 2. Michal Kwiatkowski (POL/ETI) at 0:01, 3. Rohan Dennis (AUS/BMC) at 0:01, 4. John Degenkolb (GER/GIA) 0:03, 5. Tony Martin (GER/ETI) 0:08, 6. Luis Leon Sanchez (ESP/AST) 0:11, 7. Sylvain Chavanel (FRA/IAM) 0:11, 8. Tom Dumoulin (NED/GIA) 0:14, 9. Geraint Thomas (GBR/SKY) 0:14, 10. Philippe Gilbert (BEL/BMC) 0:14.

Read more on:    paris-nice race  |  cycling


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

Besides the 'Big 3' of rugby, cricket and soccer, which of the 'smaller' sports in South Africa do you enjoy the most?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.