'It's really big, it shows that I can perform on the top level': Matt Walls jubilant after Gran Piemonte victory

The British rider agreed that his track experience helped him in the hectic finale

Matt Walls on the Gran Piemonte podium
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Matt Walls said that winning at the Italian Classic of Gran Piemonte "shows that I can perform on the top level" as he beats some of the world's best sprinters.

Walls, who is coming to the end of his first year as a professional road rider with Bora-Hansgrohe, followed the wheels perfectly to then launch a powerful sprint to the line, beating the likes of Giacomo Nizzolo (Qhubekta-NextHash).

The 23-year-old has shown some superb form throughout the season with top 10s at the Tour de la Provence, gold in the Omnium at the Tokyo Olympic Games as well as victory on a stage of the Tour of Norway.

>>> Matt Walls powers to Gran Piemonte 2021 victory ahead of some of the world's best sprinters

Speaking after the race, Walls said: "The boys did a really good job getting me towards the closing kilometres and I picked a good wheel. I came off and I had enough in the tank for the sprint."

The wheel he picked was indeed a good one, as it was Argentinian Max Richeze (UAE Team Emirates), who was in the process of leading out Matteo Trentin.

"They were all there coming towards the end, I saw my opportunity to go and I went for it," Walls continued.

"It was pretty hectic coming in towards the finish, there were a couple of crashes or something, but I think it [track cycling skills] helped a lot being able to position myself well in the bunch."

A late chicane saw a few riders, such as Elia Viviani (Cofidis) pull out of contention for the win, but Walls was perfectly placed. 

"It's really big," he said. "It shows that I can perform on the top level on the road - I knew I could do it on the track after the Olympics. So it's nice to be able to do that on the road as well."

Walls managed to hold off Nizzolo who was finishing with a lot of speed as well as 19-year-old Olav Kooij (Jumbo-Visma) who had crashed with 18km to go, but still put in a strong sprint to take third.

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