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Michael Matthews, finding his way with two wins at the 2013 Tour of Utah

August 10, 2013
Michael Matthews searching for teammates to thank, after winning in Salt Lake City

Michael Matthews, bib 23, searching for teammates to thank, after winning in Salt Lake City

Sponsor Orica could have used the power from Michael Matthews’ emotion after winning yesterday in Salt Lake City to blast away tons of rock in one of its mines. In the run-out beyond the line after dismounting his bike the Orica-GreenEDGE sprinter stomped on the pavement as he unleashed a few choice words. He pummeled the air with a clenched fist.

Earning his second stage win for the team he joined this year seemed to set off a dynamite stick of elation and perhaps still more relief of the sort that bubbled over after winning Stage 2 two days earlier.

“It’s definitely been a long process this year,” Matthews said after Stage 2 in Utah. “I haven’t had a win yet. I’ve had lots of seconds…It was really a goal for me this year to come into this tour with good form.”

Matthews started Utah after a seven week break from racing. According to Director Matt Wilson, a couple of injury problems excluded Matthews from some races earlier this year.

The twenty-two year-old and former U23 road world champion Matthews joined Orica for 2013 as the sole new recruit. He came to a team packed with young sprint talent – Matthew Goss, Leigh Howard, Aidis Kruopis, Jens Keukeleire, and veterans Allan Davis and Baden Cooke. Cooke appears to have taken Matthews under his wing in Utah, looking out for him during the event and leading up to the big hill on the Salt Lake City circuit.

“I moved from Rabobank to GreenEDGE this year and it was difficult. I had to find my way in the new team,” Matthews stated after Stage 2. “Obviously we have a lot of sprinters on the team, so everyone wants their opportunities. I’ve been working a lot and had a few opportunities but didn’t quite pull them off; I was always second. So it’s really nice to get my first win for the team, especially when the team worked so well for me all…”

The two-time 2013 Utah stage winner had a lot to celebrate on Friday’s Stage 4. That included the hard work of his four teammates with the squad down two men after a tough day Thursday. Immediately after winning Matthews wove this way through the finish area littered with riders catching their breath to search out his teammates who one by one trickled across the finish line.

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