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March 1, Stage 1: Kota Bharu - Kuala Berang 174.5km

02/03/2010 01:41 0 Comentarios Lectura: ( palabras)


MARZO 01-08, 2010 RESULTADOS AQUI EN MUNDOCICLISMOUCI  Matthews shines in the shimmering heatMaiden win for Jayco-Skins nets Aussies the race leadMichael Matthews (Team Jayco-Skins) from the Australian Capital Territory is a rising talent in the stocks of the sport down under.Michael Matthews (Team Jayco-Skins) from the Australian Capital Territory is a rising talent in the stocks of the sport down under.

View thumbnail galleryHis nickname is 'Bling', and there was plenty of sparkle to Michael Matthews' performance today on the main road of Kuala Berang. The young Australian kicked hardest in the sprint after a day spent in torrid heat to take Jayco-Skins' maiden victory in its professional debut.Having launched as Jayco-Skins in early January this year, the Australian Institute of Sport's U23 men's squad boasts some of the country's best talent, and the depth of Australian cycling was on show as Matthews took the leader's yellow jersey and countryman Peter McDonald the ascendancy in the mountains classification.Matthews made the sprint win look easy, while McDonald did the hard yards off the front of the peloton - all 70 kilometres' worth - and capitalised on the three KOM points along the course to ride in the polka dot jersey in tomorrow's stage."It's unbelievable. I came into this race wanting to win but not expecting it, so it was really good [to win], " said Matthews. "The main reason for this was not knowing much about the other sprinters - who was going to be up there. I had to just pick one and stay on that [wheel]."I also didn't expect to win because I'm not used to the weather, " continued Matthews. "I came out at the end and started feeling good in the last 40km so the boys set it up for me and it worked out well.Matthews has quickly established a reputation for an aggressive racing style where he holds very little back and often finds himself in breakaways; asked before the stage whether he would try to hit out early, he said he wouldn't hesitate in going with any moves, but it was the bunch gallop where the young tearaway made his mark in this year's Tour de Langkawi."Coming into races I never really have a plan - I just see how I feel on the day and if I feel a break's going to go up the road I'll start hitting it at the start. If I don't think it's going to get away I'll just wait for the sprint at the end, " said Matthews.And the 18-year-old described the sprint finish he waited for: "There were people going everywhere, I heard a couple of crashes, " said Matthews of the finale. "I just skitted up the left side and got a free run to the finish. The Footon guy [second place finisher Vidal Cellis] hit out pretty early so I had something to run at, something to chase. It worked out well in the end."Australian national teams have enjoyed success in this race in the past - most recently with the likes of Jai Crawford and Richie Porte - and while these two riders are climbers, Matthews' strengths lie in his power on the flats; he admitted that his squad would now try to prolong his time in the leader's jersey. "We'll try and defend the jersey - probably not on the [Genting] climb but on the next few stages we'll see what we can do, " he explained.He was realistic about his chances on the reputed Genting climb, which comes on the race's penultimate day, although he also knows the importance of bonus seconds on the flat days before the peloton hits the event's only serious ascent."Hopefully I can be up there on Genting but it'll be a very hard hill - I haven't seen it yet but it should be fun and I'll try to get some time bonuses through the week to see if I can hold the jersey.Of the tactics today however, Matthews said, "We have a couple of sprinters in our team and so we were going to see who was feeling the best at the end of the race; my team got me to about five kilometres to go and I just started following the wheels of other teams - the team worked really well to get me to the finish line fresh."Doing it the hard way...One man who looked surprisingly fresh at the finish was Peter McDonald. The Australian spent 70 of the day's 174.5km in a solo break that went clear almost 70km into the stage. The 2009 Australian road race national champion provided the main animation in the day's racing and forced ISD-Neri and the South African national team to makes the moves to chase him down over the middle third of the parcours.With small bumps in the course masquerading as KOM points, McDonald played it smart and maximised his mountains classification haul by riding off the front over the second KOM point and third intermediate sprint, also gaining bonus seconds in the process.He had hoped for reinforcements in the move that went away before five kilometres before the feed zone and finished about five kilometres following his successful points haul in Sungai Tong."I wasn't really looking to stay away until the end - I thought the win was a bit out of my grasp, " said McDonald. "I just wanted to pick up the sprint and the KOM. I didn't actually know there was one KOM to come towards the end - had I known I might have kept going to try and grab that but it all worked out fine because I had the jersey anyway."McDonald admitted that defending the jersey is now a goal, although he said that, "You can't really formulate too much of a plan coming into this race - it's not really a climber's start to the race so I'll just try to pick up points along the way where I can because they tend to work out more like sprints. You have to look to your team to help you out and bring you to the front to contest them.Like Matthews, McDonald isn't looking too far ahead into the race, especially not with Genting looming. He admitted that he "climbs okay" but today's endeavours could take their toll."When you go away solo and stay away for 80km on the first day of a seven-stage race you eventually run out of energy, " said McDonald. "Today wasn't really part of the plan - I didn't really want to be alone out the front and using all that energy but it's just the way it worked out. Hopefully I can conserve a bit before Genting."Full Results 1 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team Jayco - Skins 4:22:53 2 Vidal Celis (Spa) Footon-Servetto 3 Ruslan Tleubayev (Kaz) Kazakhstan National Team 4 Anuar Manan (Mas) Geumsan Ginseng Asia 5 Johann Rabie (RSA) South Africa National Team 6 René Haselbacher (Aut) Vorarlberg - Corratec 7 Markus Eibegger (Aut) Footon-Servetto 8 Tobias Erler (Ger) Tabriz Petrochemical Cycling Team 9 Zach Bell (Can) Kelly Benefit Strategies 10 Salleh Zamri (Mas) Malaysia National Teamimage

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