Matthews will race the Giro d’Italia, miss the Tour de France

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Michael Matthews will miss the Tour de France for the first time since 2014 as he instead targets the Giro d’Italia this season.

His Sunweb team unveiled its plans for the 2020 season on Wednesday, confirming that Matthews’s calendar would feature his third career appearance at the Giro, as well as a Milan-San Remo start, but no Tour. The 29-year-old Australian, who won the green jersey at the 2017 Tour, has made two Giro starts in the past, collecting one stage win each in 2014 and 2015.

At the moment, Sunweb’s planned Tour squad is composed of Søren Kragh Andersen, Nikias Arndt, Tiesj Benoot, Cees Bol, Marc Hirschi, Joris Nieuwenhuis, Nicholas Roche, and Jasha Sütterlin. A similar lineup will take on most of the Classics.

For the Giro, the team will have Matthews, Nico Denz, Chris Hamilton, Jai Hindley, Wilco Kelderman, Sam Oomen, Casper Pedersen, and Martijn Tusveld.

“We will work towards specific goals at each of the Grand Tours and target results in the big Classics, which we will approach with a strong block of riders,” said head coach Rudi Kemna.

“The Tour de France awaits as the first of the Grand Tours on the calendar, where we will aim for stage success through sprints and offensive racing. The goal at the Giro d’Italia will be the GC and difficult sprints, while the Vuelta a España will be about the development of our young and promising talents, with a few of them getting the opportunity to make their grand tour debut.”

The team also provided some insight into the plans for its women’s squad, albeit without concrete lineup details for any major races.

“Our Women’s program was recently strengthened with the addition of world number one ranked rider, Lorena Wiebes – a great boost to the team,” Kemna said. “Our ambition to become the best women’s team in professional cycling remains unchanged and continuing in the way that they started our season, we will go for strong results in the Classics and Giro Rosa.”

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