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Team BikeExchange animate Eschborn-Frankfurt as Matthews takes ninth – Team BikeExchange

Team BikeExchange did as they promised and went on the offensive at Eschborn-Frankfurt before teeing up Michael Matthews for a top-10 finish in the sprint finale.

The squad placed Luke Durbridge in the early breakaway move of five, with the escapees going on to open an advantage of more than three minutes before the peloton pegged them back.

As the gap began to tumble, Team BikeExchange made their way to the front of the pack and ramped up the tempo, firstly with Lucas Hamilton then with Nick Schultz and Rob Stannard applying the pressure. The race then burst into life with 60km to go as Matthews attacked over the top of the Mammolshain climb.

The 30-year-old drew a select group clear with teammates Hamilton for company and Durbridge still clinging on after his exploits in the initial breakaway. However, despite their best efforts, the gap back to the peloton never exceeded more than 40 seconds, with a host of teams keen to bring it back together for a sprint.

As the last of the group were reeled back in inside the final 10km, Team BikeExchange powered to the front as they refocussed on the upcoming sprint. Luka Mezgec surged to the head of the field underneath the one kilometre to go banner with Matthews in tow, but as the sprint opened up, the former second place finisher was left with nowhere to go, crossing the line in ninth.

Michael Matthews:
“We obviously wanted to make it a hard race, we put Durbo in the breakaway to make sure we had someone up the road if any guys were going across. Once we started the big lap, we were already firing guys up the road to make it hard for the sprinters.

Then on the second to last lap I decided to attack and got a nice group going, but there weren’t many people wanting to work with us to help it stay away and so around 20km to go we got caught.

In the end I had no legs left for the sprint but I gave it a go anyway and I think it’s good signs for things to come.”

2021 Eschborn-Frankfurt – Results:
1. Jasper Philipsen 4:28:03
2. John Degenkolb ST
3. Alexander Kristoff ST
9. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) ST

Photo Courtesy of Getty Sport.

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Martin set to go to ninth Tour de France and return to Mûr de Bretagne

Let’s go back to 2018 when Dan Martin attacks with 1.2 kilometers to the finish line on the Mûr de Bretagne. His competitors try to follow but give up. Martin, being chased by Pierre Latour and, a few moments later, by Alejandro Valverde, looks back a few times in the last hundred meters. He is too strong, his opponents come too late.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3PjVXJZy5w

It is revenge for 2015 when Martin was beaten by Alexis Vuillermoz on that very same climb. “I thought I would give it a try, so I did, and the legs kept going,” he would say about his 2018 success after celebrating over the line.

In 2021, Dan Martin will return to the Mûr de Bretagne (stage 2), as he is selected for his ninth Tour de France, this time in the #BlueAndWhite colors of Israel Start-Up Nation.

About the Mûr, he says, “It is indeed a climb that suits me and that I like. I am looking forward to returning to it.”

The Irishman, a stage winner in all three Grand Tours since the Giro of this year, will have a free role in Israel Start-Up Nation’s team. He can rely on the support of his teammates on stages like the one on day two in the Tour.

Having the Giro in the legs does not feel like a disadvantage for the climber. Martin elaborates, “With the right balance of training and recovery, I think having done the Giro can be beneficial, rather than a disadvantage.”

“Together with Paulo Saldanha from PowerWatts, I feel like we found that right balance very well.”

“I took training a little bit easier after the Giro, and I have done more intensity over the last few trainings. I feel recovered and ready to race,” the two-time stage winner in the Tour de France says.

Tour of the Alps 2021 – 45th Edition – 5th stage Valle del Chiese/Idroland – Riva del Garda 120,9 km – 23/04/2021 – Daniel Martin (IRL – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Dario Belingheri/BettiniPhoto©2021

“Racing my ninth Tour de France is something I was planning from the beginning of the season and I am happy that I am racing it, especially as it brings me back to the Mûr.”

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com