Aussie gets 1st win but Froome still leads

REVEL (France) • Australia's Michael Matthews claimed his first Tour de France stage victory in Revel yesterday, with Chris Froome holding on to the leader's yellow jersey.

Matthews' Australian Orica team played the day's breakaway to perfection, as team-mates Luke Durbridge and Daryl Impey sacrificed themselves to help his victory bid.

The 25-year-old pipped world champion Peter Sagan and Edvald Boasson Hagen of Norway at the end of the 184km 10th stage of the classic cycling race from Andorra to Revel.

"It's unbelievable. The emotion, it's just sinking that I won a stage of the Tour de France," said the winner. "I was close to giving in, I thought maybe I would focus on other races, but today my dreams came true.

"Luke Durbridge and Daryl Impey gave me their everything."

Briton Froome kept his place atop the overall standings, the defending champion coming home in the labouring peloton almost 10 minutes after the stage winner to maintain his 16-second lead over Adam Yates.

Matthews was part of a six-man sprint finish in which Impey played a pivotal role, keeping the pace to the line high over the last 3km.

It allowed Matthews to tuck in behind Sagan and make the most of the Slovak's slipstream to win the dash to the line.

He won comfortably enough to let go of his handlebars and lift his arms in celebration before even crossing the line.

It meant Matthews completed the full set of Grand Tour stage victories, having won two at the Giro d'Italia and three at the Vuelta a Espana.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 13, 2016, with the headline 'Aussie gets 1st win but Froome still leads'. Print Edition | Subscribe