Sun, Jul 16, 10:37am by Head Editor
Canberra’s Michael Matthews has produced the best performance of his career, exploding to the front with 500 metres to go in stage 14 of the Tour de France, before crossing the line in front of Belgian star Greg Van Avermeat and Norway’s Evald Boasson Hagen.
The 26-year-old, proved too strong for the field in the final sprint of the 181.5-kilometre ride from Blagnac to Rodez, a stage that was unrelenting, with high speeds from start to finish.
Chris Froome finished in seventh place, but that was enough for him to reclaim the yellow jersey, as the man who had held the lead – Fabio Aru – lost touch with the leaders in the final short, sharp ascent of the Cote de Saint Pierre, to cross the line 25 seconds behind Matthews.
Overall, Froome now leads Aru by 18 seconds and last year’s runner-up Romain Bardet by 23 seconds after the Frenchman finished five seconds off the pace. The defending champion is in from $1.80 to $1.45 to win back to back titles.
Aru drifts from $3.50 to $9, following the disappointing showing, while Romain Bardet – who finished five seconds back, in 11th place on the stage, moves in from $8 to $6. Sitting one spot back in fourth place overall, is Colombian Rigoberto Uran, who’s in from $13 to $10.
Despite Matthews’ win, he’s not listed in Sportsbet’s betting market, as he sits way back in 81st place overall, over 90 minutes behind the leaders. There was more good news for Australia, with Jay McCarthy finished in fifth place on the stage. The Bora–Hansgrohe rider is way back in 87th place, and also not listed in the betting markets.
Tomorrow’s stage is considered a complex one in the Massif Central, featuring two first-category climbs.
Tour de France overall standings after stage 14
1 Chris Froome (GBR/Sky) 59hrs 52min 09sec
2 Fabio Aru (ITA/AST) at 0:18.
3 Romain Bardet (FRA/ALM) 0:23.
4 Rigoberto Uran (COL/CAN) 0:29.
5 Mikel Landa (ESP/SKY) 1:17.
6 Daniel Martin (IRL/QST) 1:26.
7 Simon Yates (GBR/ORI) 2:02.
8 Nairo Quintana (COL/MOV) 2:22.
Chris Froome $1.45
Romain Bardet $8
Fabio Aru $9
Rigoberto Uran $10
Mikel Landa $19
Nairo Quintana $41
Daniel Martin $51
Simon Yates $151
Alberto Contador $251
Louis Meintjes $401
Pierre Roger Latour $501
Carlos Betancur $501
George Bennett $501
Warren Barguil $501
Mikel Nieve $501
Damiano Caruso $501
Emanuel Buchmann $501
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