There was no hiding the willpower with which Jayco AlUla was chasing victory on the Cadel Evans Nice Ocean Highway Race. That they had undoubtedly purchased out the A staff for the Australian summer season – Michael Matthews was for the primary time returning to the scene of his U23 World Championships victory in 2010 – to place the Australian WorldTour staff in with the absolute best to shot to scoop up the one-day race that begins and finishes in Geelong for the primary time.
Because the break was swept up within the run into the road a gaggle together with Matthews was organising for the ultimate dash. It appeared just like the victory that he had been so effectively positioned for when he dropped his chain on the Tour Down Beneath might effectively are available in Geelong as a substitute.
However this was no day for the favourites, with each Matthews and Caleb Ewan (Australia) who had been in that lead group being crushed to the road by Marius Mayrhofer (Workforce DSM) who hadn’t been on the radar earlier than the race, no shock as this was his very first win. Hugo Web page (Intermarché-Circus-Wanty) and Simon Clarke (Israel-Premier Tech) had been subsequent then Matthews came visiting the road fourth and Ewan was sixth.
“I am unable to say a lot, about right this moment my legs had been completely horrible sadly, the fellows did actually good cowl strikes on the circuit,” Matthews instructed Cyclingnews. “Yeah. I imply, they had been in all of the strikes that would have doubtlessly gone to the road after which it truly got here again for a dash and we lined up however simply had no legs left to essentially get out and truly open up my dash. It is disappointing. We got here right here to win, we did not.
Jayco AlUla had been diligent in entering into strikes by the 176km course that swept out from Geelong, by the rolling hills in drizzly circumstances after which again to Geelong – through the coast – and into 4 laps of an area circuit together with the quick however sharp climb of Challambra Crescent. That climb had additionally been a characteristic of the course the place Matthews took his U23 world title in Geelong again in 2010.
“The staff rode nice once more however yeah, I could not fairly end it off. It was only a psychological battle on the market right this moment,” mentioned Matthews. “Clearly nice reminiscences once I was right here final time however simply did not have the legs on the day to essentially do what was wanted to be completed. However, um. yeah, now it is time to time to fly residence and reset and prepare for the spring.”
It has been a change in preparation for Matthews, who has often stayed in Europe to prepare for his spring targets, together with Milan San Remo the place he got here fourth in 2022. So does he nonetheless really feel like he’s in a great place after an Australian summer season the place he hasn’t managed to get that win, however clearly had some good kind at his main goal, the Tour Down Beneath, earlier than a contact of wheels and chain drop, spoiled his plans.
“We’ll have to attend and see. I imply, it is not the outcomes that I got here right here for,” mentioned Matthews, who stood on the rostrum at each the street race on the Australian Nationwide Championships and on stage 1 on the Tour Down Beneath earlier than coming to Geelong and ending fourth.
“Nevertheless it was additionally not the smoothest run for me the final couple of months, so, I believe I made essentially the most of what I might. Sadly, no win however I assume I will solely have the ability to say after the Classics if this was a great possibility to come back to Australia or not.”
That may in all probability additionally reply the query of whether or not he will likely be again once more subsequent yr to try to chase that win in Australia once more.
“I put numerous effort in to be in fine condition right here in the summertime,” mentioned Matthews. “As soon as I get to the spring after which we are able to consider if we do it once more subsequent yr or not.”