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Matthews gets up for ninth in fast finish to stage six of the Tour de France – Team BikeExchange

30-year-old Australian Michael Matthews sprinted to his third top-10 finish of this year’s Tour de France with ninth place in a fast and hectic finish to stage six.

The stage always looked set for a routine sprint day, but a group of eight riders had different ideas as they attacked away from the peloton at kilometre zero. However, with a number of teams unhappy with the composition of the escapees, the move was eventually hauled back and just two riders were allowed up the road.

The peloton made no mistake in bringing the duo back in the closing kilometres as the sprint teams teed it up for another sprint finish into Châteauroux. Matthews surfed the wheels in the finale but was boxed in slightly for the dash for the line, finishing in ninth place behind stage winner Mark Cavendish.

Michael Matthews
“Today was never really going to suit me that well, a pure flat sprint with 1.5km straight to the finish and it was always going to be difficult without a lead-out train and not being the fastest guy here, but we gave it a crack. 

Unfortunately, all three of us that were doing the lead-out/ sprint got caught behind a crash with 3km to go on a roundabout. We got really pushed back and once we got back going, I was around 60th in the bunch. We all lost each other so I just tried to make up as many places as I could to try and get back to the front. I got back there, I tried to do a sprint but didn’t have much left so not a great day, but we will try again tomorrow.”

Matt White – Head Sport Director
“The stage was short and fast. There was an interesting break at the start of the day, which could have affected the yellow jersey, so it made for a very fast 30 or 40 kilometres until that break was reeled in.

Then it was pretty straight forward, the course was pretty uncomplicated today, so we saw a very, very fast run in.

In the green jersey competition we’ve lost a considerable amount of points to Mark Cavendish, but it’s all very tight in second, third and fourth place as we approach the mountains.

Tomorrow is the longest stage of the Tour, 245 kilometres, and it’s a pretty tough final, so it’s not a day for the pure sprinters.”

2021 Tour de France – Stage 6 Results:
1. Mark Cavendish 3:17:36
2. Jasper Philipsen ST
3. Nacer Bouhanni ST
9. Michael Matthews (Team BikeExchange) ST

General Classification result after stage 6:
1. Mathieu van der Poel 20:09:17
2. Tadej Pogacar +0:08
3. Wout van Aert +0:30
22. Esteban Chaves (Team BikeExchange) +3:24

Photo courtesy of Getty Images

— 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