Michael Matthews to Contest his First Tour de France

Aussie cyclist Michael Matthews is under no illusions he is in for a rough time competing in his first Tour de France.

Michael Matthews. Photo: www.couriermail.com.au

Michael Matthews. Photo: www.couriermail.com.au

Orica-GreenEDGE has seclected the 23 year-old Canberra rider in their starting line because of his phenomenal form in several lead up races. Matthews has had to give his all just to make the team and is well aware more – much more – will be demanded of him in the actual race.

“It’s every cyclist’s dream to ride the Tour de France,” he told news.com.au reporters, “and once you work so hard to get selected, you’ve really got to step it up to another level to be able to do something in the race. Everyone is there with 110 per cent their best form and there are 200 guys wanting to make a difference in the race. So making the team is the first step, the second step is doing something in the race.”

On Saturday more than 200 cyclists will set off from the U.K. start point. They will begin one of the most gruelling endurance events on the sporting calendar. Matthews is cautiously optimistic about his call up to the team. He has ridden the Dauphine, Vuelta, and this year the Giro (all world class stage races). But he is aware of the extra demand and intensity of the Tour de France.

Since completing the Giro d’ Italia Matthews has done three weeks of altitude training in Slovenia. He has worked very closely with his coach, Brian Stephens, to bring himself to the pinnacle of his cycling form. Apart from altitude training Matthews has put in endless kilometres of motor pacing in an effort to improve his high-end average speed.

Understanding what racing in the Tour de France means to him, Matthews’ partner and family are flying out from Australia to wish him well.

All of Australia with you well Michael.

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