Daily News Digest

by Mark Zalewski

July 4, 2016

In today’s CT Daily News Digest: Peter Sagan swaps rainbow stripes for yellow jersey with Stage 2 victory at Tour de France; Rosa Round-up: more Boels-Dolmans success as Evelyn Stevens wins stage 3 and takes pink; Tour of Austria kicks off with uphill prologue and field sprint stage; Cavendish wins opening stage of Tour de France, takes maillot jaune for first time; ‘It was a disaster’: Stage 2 puncture slashes Porte’s chances of Tour de France victory; The walking wounded: Stage 1 of Tour leaves its mark; Contador injured in Tour de France opener: ‘When I place my shoulder in a certain position I am worried’; Bennett soldiers on after stage 1 crash: ‘I could see the bone in my finger’; Mission accomplished: Cavendish completes long campaign to grab Tour yellow; Cookson on ASO-UCI deal, Bahrain team; Tramadol prevalent within the pro peloton, soon to be banned; Tour de France: Stage 2 recap; Tour de France: Stage 1 recap; Tour de France: Stage 1 on-board highlights; Tour de France: Stage 2 on-board highlights; How to launch the ‘Manx Missile’

Matthews or Gerrans? Orica-BikeExchange with options ahead of Tour’s second stage

by Matt de Neef

The Tour de France hasn’t been kind to Michael Matthews (Orica-BikeExchange). The Canberran crashed ahead of his Tour debut in 2014 and never started the race. And when he did make his debut last year, he crashed heavily on stage 3, ruling him out of contention for stage wins.

Today, on the opening stage of the 2016 Tour, Matthews again hit the bitumen after getting caught in a final-kilometre crash. According to his team, Matthews didn’t sustain any significant injuries in his tumble. And if all goes to plan, he mightn’t have to wait long to turn his Tour fortunes around.

Matthews will go in as one of the favourites on the short uphill finish to stage 2 tomorrow. Assuming he’s given the opportunity to contest the win, that is.

Matthews is one of several imposing options for the newly renamed Orica-BikeExchange team, alongside Daryl Impey, Michael Albasini and Simon Gerrans. Speaking to the press ahead of the Tour start, sports director Matt White was loathe to reveal which rider would get the nod on stage 2, which is mostly uphill for the last 3km.

“I’d love to tell you our tactics now but it would blow our cover a bit,” White said. “We’ve definitely got options. We checked out the course a couple of days ago. It’s obviously one thing seeing a Strava file of how the course looks but some of the guys rode 100km and the other group did the last 50 and it’s an exciting finish. It’s going to be a good mix of the best GC riders and a handful of versatile Classics riders.”

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