Matthews heads for Tour of Flanders debut buoyed by Catalunya success

Michael Matthews on the Catalunya podium after winning stage 6

When Michael Matthews ( Sunweb ) arrived at the Volta a Catalunya more or less directly from Milan-San Remo, he was burdened by concerns that he was still short of his best after the heavy crash that curtailed his participation in Paris-Nice. A week later, his Sunday night journey from Barcelona to Belgium was lightened considerably by the two stage victories he claimed on the Catalan roads. The quality of Matthews' brace of wins augurs well for his prospects at the Tour of Flanders this coming weekend, even if the Australian was reluctant to set himself any precise target for his much-anticipated debut in the race. Although Matthews placed second in the amateur version in 2010, and in his very first race on the cobbles to boot, he was ushered in the direction of the Amstel Gold Race and the Ardennes Classics on turning professional at Rabobank. His first two ...

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