A day on the Tour de France

Taylor Byrd
July 19, 2017

"To get another stage win in the same Tour de France... normally I can only win one stage in a Tour, to get my second win in three days, I don't really know what to say".

In the sprint to the line he edged out Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) and Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), who clashed with Matthews as the riders came to a stop, accusing him of veering towards him on the high-speed dash for the line.

"We took it from the word go, attacking the whole climb to make it hard for Quick-Step to shut us down", said Matthews, who also won a stage on the Tour a year ago.

Amid heavy crosswinds that played havoc in the finale of Tuesday's 165-kilometer (102.5-mile) Stage 16 between Le Puy-en-Velay to Romans-en-Isere, Team Sky riders tried to unsettle their opponents by setting a frenetic tempo that split the pack like a jigsaw puzzle.

Degenkolb complained that Matthews did not hold his line in the sprint, but the Australian was adamant he raced fairly.

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A day on the Tour de France

Froome's Team Sky did much of the work to cause those splits, with Irishman Dan Martin caught on the wrong side as he surrendered 51 seconds and dropped to seventh overall, now two minutes and three seconds back. "I think it won't sink in until tomorrow morning". They'd taken five stage wins behind sprinter Marcel Kittel, who also established a solid lead in the green jersey competition.

"I did a clean sprint, I did not change my line", Matthews said.

Frenchman Romain Bardet was nearly caught out but was paced back to the lead group by team-mate Oliver Naesen, while Fabio Aru had to bridge a small gap by himself.

"From then on it was an eight-man team time trial to the finish and I was able to finish off the job in the last 500 metres".

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