Madrid, Aug 29 IANS | 11 months ago

Australian sprinter Michael Matthews won a bunch sprint finish at the end of stage five of the Vuelta de Espana (Tour of Spain) annual multiple-stage bicycle race.


Matthews, who rides for the Orica Green Edge team, may not have timed his sprint perfectly, jumping slightly early, but the favourable terrain in the last 200 metres of the stage allowed him to stay ahead of the peloton, finishing just ahead of Max Richeze in second place and Gianni Meersman in third Wednesday, reports Xinhua.

He had shown his form Tuesday when he came third in the stage to Fisterre, finishing behind Dani Moreno and Fabian Cancellara.

However, on the first stage without a categorised climb, it was a sprint that nearly didn't happen as the break of the day saw a group of five riders pull clear of the main peloton and establish a lead of eight minutes before the peloton, unwilling to waste one of the few chances for a sprint finish in the three week race, began to reel them in.

However, two of the five, Arnaud Courteille and Jurgen Van der Walle gritted their teeth and it was not until there were just over three kilometers before the finish at Lago de Sanabria, close to Zamora, that they were pulled back in.

Thursday's stage is a 175 kilometre ride from Guijuelo to Caceres, a predominantly flat ride.

(Posted on 29-08-2013)