Team Sunweb (Spain) - Press Release: The second day of racing in Catalunya saw the peloton travel 167 kilometres from Mataró to Sant Feliu de Guíxols. Although the parcours didn’t feature the same amount of climbing as on the opening day, the third category climb of Alt de Romanyà (5.8 kilometres at 4.5%) topped out with only 24 kilometres left and with the pace high, the bunch was stretched out. Team Sunweb continued to work well at the head of the peloton, ensuring that Michael Matthews was kept safe. With several uncategorised climbs towards the end and a tough drag to the line in the final kilometre, the day’s winner was going to have to time their effort perfectly. While others around him started to fade, Matthews managed to kick and produce a strong sprint to the line, taking the win on the day.
A delighted Matthews was quick to thank the team: “Coming into the final kilometres I was able to move up to the front on the downhill and flat before the climb to the finish. I positioned myself near Valverde as I thought he was the favourite for the day. I timed my sprint really well, starting with 150 metres to go and managed to hold everyone off. The team rode really well from the start, we were always in control of the race and never let it get out of hand and came out with the win. I’m happy to get the win for them.”
Team Sunweb coach Aike Visbeek was pleased with the commitment shown today: “We took control of the peloton from the beginning of the race and did a lot of work to keep the break in check. Once onto the harder parts of the course the guys worked hard to keep Michael in a good position, before helping set him up for the finale. Michael showed great determination by taking the sprint, it was a really impressive effort from him. The whole team rode really well today and it is great to get another win.”
Tomorrow’s stage sees the rider’s face the summit finish at Vallter 2000 which will no doubt see a GC showdown.