International Cycling

Matthews wins Vuelta Stage 3

2014-08-25 19:11
Michael Matthews (AFP)

Arcos de la Frontera - Australian Michael Matthews has claimed victory in the third stage of the Vuelta a Espana and the overall race lead as he prevailed in a sprint finish ahead of Irishman Dan Martin and Spaniard Joaquim Rodriguez on Monday.

The 23-year-old Orica GreenEdge rider, who won two stages in the Vuelta last year, crossed the line in a time of 5hr 12min 14sec to take the 197.8km stage from Cadiz to Arcos de la Frontera.

The 10 bonus seconds on offer to winners of a stage allowed Matthews to move ahead of race favourite Colombian Nairo Quintana into the overall lead by four seconds.

"I can't ask any more of the team. The victory depended on them because they gave everything for it," said Matthews.

"I didn't think I could do it but the team gave 100 percent for me."

Matthews was forced to pull out of this year's Tour de France due to a hand injury suffered in training just a week before it got underway.

And he admitted wearing the leader's red jersey was a huge bonus given he hadn't planned on even riding in Spain this year.

"I didn't even expect to participate this year in the Tour of Spain, only in the Tour of France because I wasn't in form.

"But sometimes when you work hard you can get back to your best level and if you believe in yourself you come back even stronger.

"To wear the red jersey is a dream come true. I adore the Tour of Spain."

Overnight leader Alejandro Valverde came home seven seconds down on the stage leaders to slip to third place overall.

However, two-time winner Alberto Contador and Chris Froome showed no ill effects on their return from the injuries that forced them to retire from the Tour de France as they finished among the leading pack to remain in contention.

Saxo-Tinkoff's Contador trails Quintana by 19 seconds with Sky's Froome a further eight seconds back.

On the first stage of the race involving any serious climbing, an early breakaway group consisting of the Swiss duo Danilo Wyss and Jonathan Fumeaux, Spain's Lluis Mas Bonet, Jerome Cousin of France and South African Jacques van Rensburg built up an early eight minute lead.

That was whittled down to five minutes before the first of four category three climbs, though, and despite an attempt to breakaway on his own by Bonet, he was swallowed up by the peloton with just under 30km to go.

There was then a scare for Froome as two Movistar riders Jonathan Castroviejo and Adriano Malori crashed centimetres away from the 2013 Tour de France champion, but thankfully both avoided a collision with anymore riders and were fine to complete the stage after a brief delay.

After the peloton briefly bunched together, there were then a number of attacks on the slight climb to the line and Garmin Sharp's Martin looked like he would reel in Matthews but just left himself too much to do as the Australian added to his two stage wins in last year's Tour of Spain.

Results from the third stage of the Tour of Spain, a 197.8km ride from Cadiz to Arcos de la Frontera on Monday:

1. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI) 5hr 12min 14sec
2. Daniel Martin (IRL/GRS) same time
3. Joaquim Rodriguez (ESP/KAT) s.t.
4. Wilco Kelderman (NED/BLK) s.t.
5. Paul Mertens (GER/BLK) s.t.
6. Cadel Evans (AUS/BMC) s.t.
7. Lloyd Mondory (FRA/ALM) s.t.
8. Nacer Bouhanni (FRA/FDJ) s.t.
9. Daniel Moreno (ESP/KAT) s.t.
10. Chris Froome (GBR/SKY) s.t.


1. Michael Matthews (AUS/ORI) 9hr 27min 53sec
2. Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) at 0:04sec
3. Alejandro Valverde (ESP/MOV) 0:11
4. Rigoberto Uran (COL/OPQ) 0:15
5. Damiano Caruso (ITA/CAN) 0:17
6. Esteban Chaves Rubio (COL/ORI) 0:17
7. George Bennett (AUS/CAN) 0:20
8. Julian David Arredondo Moreno (COL/TRe) 0:20
9. Haimar Zubeldia (ESP/TRE) 0:20
10. Gianluca Brambilla (ITA/OPQ) 0:22

Read more on:    vuelta a espana  |  cycling

What To Read Next


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

Live scoring

Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2017/18 Absa Premiership season is under way. Can Bidvest Wits defend their title? Will Soweto giants Kaizer Chiefs or Orlando Pirates emerge victorious? Or will the bookies' favourites, Mamelodi Sundowns, taste success for a record eighth time? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

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.