Matthews Sprints to Milan-San Remo Podium!

18 de março de 2024

Team Jayco-AlUla rider Michael Matthews came within a centimeter of winning Milan-San Remo, sprinting to a close second-place finish to score the podium at the first Monument Classic of the season.

Milan-San Remo is a favorite for Matthews, who now has three podiums at the Italian Classic to his name. His first came nine years ago when he finished third in 2015. This year’s field was stacked with talent, and Matthews put in a powerful performance riding with his CADEX 50 Ultra WheelSystem. His Giant Propel Advanced SL race bike also had the new CADEX Aero Integrated handlebar and Amp saddle. 
“Obviously I’m happy with the podium, but being so close, it’s bittersweet,” Matthews said afterward. “I think tomorrow morning I’ll be happy with my performance, but in this moment right now, being this close to a Monument after so many podiums, it’s hard.”
The longest Classic of the year unfolded in typical fashion over the 288km route from Pavia to San Remo. The race almost always comes down to the final 30km, where two climbs—the Cipressa and the Poggio—prove decisive with late-race attacks before the finish on the Via Roma.
An early break of 11 riders went clear and had a gap of just over two minutes when they hit the Capo Melo climb with 53km to go. The chase heated up after that, and by the time the main group with all the top favorites including Matthews hit the Cipressa climb, it was down to 40 riders.
That group soon passed the remaining breakaway riders, and the battle was on for the Poggio, 8km before the finish. Team Jayco-AlUla was well-positioned, with Australian champion Luke Plapp and Davide De Pretto both there to help Matthews.
Despite being sick a week prior, Matthews showed incredible early-season form, sticking with the big attacks. In the end, it came down to a bike throw at the line between Matthews, six-time Tour de France stage winner Jasper Philipsen, and two-time Tour de France GC winner Tadej Pogačar. Philipsen narrowly took the win, with Matthews finishing second.
“I think the way I bounced back [from illness], I’m really proud of myself,” Matthews said. “Paris-Nice obviously didn’t go to plan, but this is my favorite race of the year. It’s always a race that I love to perform at, and it always puts a smile on my face when I’m on the start line. So to be here in San Remo on the podium, it’s special.”