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“Amstel is my biggest goal next to Milan-San Remo. My pre-season training will be planned around those two races and hopefully I can be — I know I’ll be — in the best shape possible to try and take the win"

Photo: Sirotti








19.12.2015 @ 16:44 Posted by Joseph Doherty

Michael Matthews is perhaps the most talented rider in cycling, capable of wining all types of races, and despite having stages in two Grand Tours, he is putting aside completing the set with a Tour stage in order to try and win Milan-Sanremo and Amstel Gold for Orica-Greendge in 2016.


Matthews faces problems in both race, however. He was third in both in 2015, and has different issues with each. In Sanremo, the removal of climbs like La Manie hamper Matthews, as faster finishers can now get over the climb. However, Matthews beat riders like Kristoff and Degenkolb to the line as he took silver behind Peter Sagan at the Worlds, proving on his day he can beat the bunch in MSR. 


In Amstel, the new format suits the Aussie, as he can make it over the Cauberg comfortably before destroying the likes of Kwiatkowski and Valverde in sprints, fast riders but by no means bunch finishers. Matthews’ problem comes from within his own ranks. Simon Gerrans has tried to win Amstel for years and regularly podiums. He was injured before the race and missed the 2015 edition, giving Matthews his chance. Now his team must decide between the two, and their decision isn’t helped after friction flared between the two men at the Worlds.


“Amstel is my biggest goal next to Milan-San Remo. My pre-season training will be planned around those two races and hopefully I can be — I know I’ll be — in the best shape possible to try and take the win,” Matthews told Cycling Tips.


“I think I did quite a good job with my first opportunity this year in Amstel so with another season under my belt and knowing the race now, how it’s run and how it pans out, it should work a bit more in my favour.”


Matthews’ 2015 success came after a late season start at Paris-Nice and he will do so again in 2016, going with the “if it isn’t broke don’t fix it method.”


“I think I’ll be more confident about the run-in because … it was a totally different approach to anything I had ever done before and now that I have tried it, I believe in it and I can push myself even harder knowing that it does work really well,” Matthews continued.




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