Michael Matthews sprinted to victory on the first day of the Volta Ciclista a Catalunya, his first victory since Bretagne Classic in August of 2020 and first WorldTour victory since winning the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec in 2019.
“It’s been a long time without a victory for me now, so to come back to a finish I knew well a couple years ago and win again, it means so much,” Matthews said after the stage.
Sonny Colbrelli and Quentin Pacher finished just behind the Australian in second and third, respectively.
The run into the finish was along a technical coastal road in northeast Spain with a few tricky corners before a steep uphill sprint. Richard Carapaz led a blistering pace up the climb and in the few hundred meters before the finish where the road flattened out the quick men took over.
Matthews and Colbrelli each picked a side of the road for their sprint but it was Matthews who came out on top.
“This course suits me quite well, a hard race and an uphill sprint to the finish, it suits me quite well,” Matthews said. “You can see how much this means to the team. My wife and my dog are here to support me today, and it’s so nice to cross the finish line and give my wife a massive hug. It just means so much.”
The victory marks Matthews first for Team BikeExchange since he rejoined the team in 2021. Matthews previously rode for the Australian team from 2013 to 2016 before a four-year stint at Team Sunweb.