Tour de France: Matthews left disappointed after Sunweb's TTT fourth place
08 July 2019 02:56
"Unfortunately on that last climb with about three kilometres to go, our team sort of disintegrated a little bit," Team Sunweb's Michael Matthews told reporters immediately after having crossed the finish line of stage 2 of the Tour de France on Sunday. The team time trial had been one of the squad's main goals, but finishing six seconds behind stage leaders Team Ineos at that time left Matthews disappointed. Later, both Deceuninck-QuickStep and stage winners Jumbo-Visma would also better Sunweb, leaving the German-registered WorldTour squad in fourth place. "But I think we did everything we could," Matthews continued. "I guess we'll have to look back and… Was it Ineos that beat us? We'll have to look back and see what they did. I think I saw at the intermediate [check point] that they were about 10 seconds up, so I guess we did finish faster than them, but unfortunately that wasn't fast enough.ADVERTISEMENT "The team time trial is all about the team, and basically you're as fast as your weakest link. Unfortunately we weren't fast enough today," he repeated. Asked what he meant by the team having disintegrated, Matthews was happy to offer an assessment of his team's day while he continued to try to catch his breath. "We have some bigger guys on the team, for my lead-out, obviously, and for those guys to get up the hard climb at the finish there was always going to be difficult, so we just decided that they would do a 'suicide pull' to keep the speed for the team," Matthews explained, suggesting that some riders would sacrifice themselves by 'pulling' at the front of the line, and then drop off, leaving at least four riders to cross the finish line, with the clock stopping on each team's fourth rider.
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