Cycling-Matthews wins sprint, Goss takes lead Down Under

Reuters

Thu, 20 Jan 10:51:00 2011

Michael Matthews won the sprint finish to claim the third stage of the Tour Down Under, while fellow Australian Matthew Goss reclaimed the overall leader's orange jersey on Thursday.

The 20-year-old Matthews, considered one of the peloton's most promising riders, finished ahead of last year's champion Andre Greipel and Goss after a 129-km ride from Unley to Stirling, south of Adelaide.

"It's unbelievable, Rabobank's Matthews told reporters.

"With one kilometre to go, I was on Matt Goss's wheel, an extraordinary position to be in and he made the mistake of attacking too early, 300 metres from the line.

"In fact, I started believing in my chances when he sustained a puncture with 10-km to go. He seemed worried and I thought I had my chances. He came back but it didn't change how motivated I was."

Goss, who won the first stage on Tuesday, had lost the orange jersey to Robbie McEwen a day later after he was involved in a crash that also included Mark Cavendish.

The British sprint specialist finished behind the main group, almost thirteen minutes off the pace.

Meanwhile, retirement-bound American Lance Armstrong had a fairly uneventful day as the seven-time Tour de France champion came home safely in the bunch, more than three minutes behind the winner.

Friday's fourth stage is a 124-km run from Norwood to Strathalbyn.

((diane.falconer@thomsonreuters.com; +33 1 49 49 53 70; Reuters Messaging: diane.falconer.reuters.com@reuters.net; For the new Reuters sports blog Left Field go to: http://blogs.reuters.com/sports)

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