Matthews Perseverance Nets Tour de France Stage Win

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After enduring a series of crashes that had him pondering a future beyond bicycle racing, Australian Orica-BikeExchange rider Michael Matthews won a stage of the Tour de France.

He crashed two days before the start of the 2014 Tour de France and was unable to take part in that year’s race. Last year, a stage three crash broke four of his ribs and compelled him to limp to the finish, although no one would have blamed him had he chosen to abandon the race.

Matthews apparently has great potential, having won stages in the Vuelta a Espana in 2013 and 2014 and the Giro d’Italia in 2014 and 2015. Bicycle racing does entail some luck, the type of luck where the harder you work, the luckier you get.

Matthews has already suffered three crashes in the Tour this year, but none of sufficient severity to hurt him physically, although he currently stands at 111th in general classification, just four spots above last place, so the crashes have affected his time badly, leaving him over 1.5 hours behind.

Matthews has now won at least one stage in in all of the three Grand Tour races, giving him a so-called Grand Tour slam.

His Orica-BikeExchange teammate Adam Yates is currently in second place, 16 seconds behind leader Chris Froome.

Richie Porte of the BMC Racing Team is the top-ranked Australian in general classification, in 14th position after 10 stages.