Dengelkob grabbed me by my neck: Matthews

Reuters Roar Guru

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    Australian Michael Matthews accused German rival John Degenkolb of being a poor sport after his angry reaction to being beaten in a sprint for the line at the end of a windy 16th stage of the Tour de France.

    Sunweb rider Matthews won his second stage of the race after his teammates set a scorching pace at the head of the peloton to take the sting out of the challenge of points leader Marcel Kittel, who was dropped during the stage.

    In the sprint to the line he edged out Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) and Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo), who clashed with Matthews as the riders came to a stop, accusing him of veering towards him on the high-speed dash for the line.

    “He grabbed me by the neck. The officials saw that. I don’t know what they’re going to do about it,” Matthews said.

    “It was not very sportsmanlike.”

    Degenkolb gesticulated at Matthews as the pair crossed the line, appearing to indicate that he felt the Australian had pushed him dangerously close to the barriers.

    Matthews disagreed.

    “From my perspective I didn’t do anything wrong,” he said.

    “I started my sprint and sprinted in a straight line. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but that’s up to him.

    “If I had done anything wrong the race officials would have told me.”

    Kittel, who suffered in the hot cross-winds that played havoc with the peloton, has 373 points in the green jersey race with Matthews on 344.

    Matthews said with so few stages left he would be hunting high and low for points over the next few days as he tries to snatch the green top from powerhouse Kittel, who has already won five stages at this year’s event.

    “It’s nice to have a lot of tools but that means I don’t have a rest day,” he said.

    “Kittel is the fastest guy on the flats, so I won’t beat him on those, but I need to get points everywhere else, like the hilly stages and uphill sprints.”

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    The Crowd Says (4)

    • July 19th 2017 @ 12:21pm
      Albo said | July 19th 2017 @ 12:21pm | ! Report

      A brilliant stage performance by the Sunweb team ! Perfect tactics and execution to provide Matthews with a chance to grab the Green jersey from Kittel who looked home and hosed a few stages back after his 5 stage wins in the flat stages. Now Matthews has grabbed two stages, and if he can again grab the intermediate sprints in the Alps stages, he could well be in the Green jersey on the final stage, with Kittel needing to win the final sprint on the Champs – Elysees to grab it back ( and pending he can get through these tough mountain stages first).

    • July 19th 2017 @ 3:29pm
      Lionheart said | July 19th 2017 @ 3:29pm | ! Report

      So do they sprint on the final stage to Paris? I thought the tradition was to allow the leaders to hold their place on the final stage, or is that only for the yellow jersey?

    • July 20th 2017 @ 7:23am
      Wombat said | July 20th 2017 @ 7:23am | ! Report

      The Yellow Jersey is generally “settled” prior to the final stage given the time differences are almost always outside the range that would be likely to be made up barring the MJ wearer having a crash that would not allow them to finish with the bunch.

      KOM is always settled before the final stage in the major mountains. In any case there are only ever 1-2 points available on the stage, generally for some small hill on the course and are not seriously contested.

      Green Jersey will depend on whether the leader of the classification has sufficient points lead that they cannot be caught by whomever win the stage or if they only just need to finish in X position. The sprinters will most certainly contest for the win on the Champs Elysses given its prestige but its impacts on the GJ are purely dependent on the situation coming into the stage

      • July 20th 2017 @ 11:31am
        Lionheart said | July 20th 2017 @ 11:31am | ! Report


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