fi’zi:k’s Matthews storms into yellow at Paris-Nice

Australian Michael Matthews, competing for Orica GreenEDGE and aboard his fi’zi:k Antares 00 saddle, yesterday won the 6.1km prologue of Paris-Nice. Twenty-five-year-old Matthews slipped into the Race to the Sun’s yellow jersey after upsetting the time-triallists with a time of 7 minutes 39 seconds. Matthews showed no sign of rustiness, this being his debut race of 2016, to beat Tom Dumoulin into second and Cannondale’s Patrick Bevin (also fi’zi:k) an impressive third.

‘I was thinking a top five was possible on a course like this,’ Matthews said after the stage. ‘It was hilly, with lots of technical corners, which suits me. I had high hopes but I didn’t think I could win.’

fi’zi:k riders dominated the top seven with the Movistar duo of Jesús Herrada (Arione VSX) and Jon Izaguirre (Aliante) in fourth and fifth, respectively, and Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas (fi’zi:k R1B Uomo shoes) in seventh. The Welshman, in particular, can be pleased with his day’s work, being the fastest of the overall contenders and 16 seconds ahead of Alberto Contador.

Still, Matthews is confident he can remain in yellow well into the eight-stage race. ‘The next few stages are flat sprints so I should be able to keep the jersey,’ he said. ‘My climbing form is quite good so it will be nice to see how long I can keep it.’

Elsewhere, and away from the road to the track, congratulations to the successful fi’zi:k riders at the Track World Championships in London, the highlight of which came on Sunday when Bradley Wiggins and Mark Cavendish rolled back the years to win the Madison. The victory revived memories of their last joint world title, when they won the Madison back in 2008.