Australian rider Michael Matthews won the 16th stage of the
Tour de France Overnight — and that’s when things got nasty.
German rider Johyn Degenkolb — who’d been locked in a fierce
battle to the finish line in the town of Romans-sur-Isère —
thought things had gotten a little too close in the sprint
finish. His reaction? Not exactly gentlemanly.
The 28-year-old reached out and appeared to grab or even punch
the neck of the 26-year-old Canberran. Here’s the footage.
— NBCSN Cycling (@NBCSNCycling) 18
de julho de 2017
“I was waiting for the result and he grabbed me on the way
past. The officials saw it,” the Aussie said after the race.
“We’ll see what the officials will do about it. I don’t think
it’s very sportsmanlike.”
For his part, the German was unrepentant. He claimed that
Matthews changed his line near the finish which denied him the
opportunity to put in his fastest sprint. Matthews maintained
that he had not changed his line, and the footage below appears
to verify his argument.
— Le Tour de France (@LeTour) 18 de
julho de 2017
The Tour is still led by three-time winner and defending
champion Chris Froome, although his margin is narrow, and any
of the top 10 or so riders could still challenge for overall
victory. The general classification (leaderboard) is
From an Aussie perspective, Matthews is now the main man of
interest after the pre-race favourite, Tasmanian Richie Porte,
crashed out in the first week.
LB via Getty Images
Chris Graythen via Getty
The tour is a race within a race. As well as winning the whole
shebang, there is the title of best sprinter up for grabs.
Matthews sits second in those standings, after enjoying
his second tour stage win in three days.
The tour now moves into the Alps and ends on Sunday in Paris.
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