John Degenkolb says spat with Michael Matthews is a 'cleared up situation'

John Degenkolb and Michael Matthews had an altercation at the end of stage 16 of the Tour de France

Michael Matthews and John Degenkolb sprint towards the line on stage 16 of the Tour de France
(Image credit: ASO/Bruno Bade)

John Degenkolb has said that he and Michael Matthews have spoken since their altercation at the end of stage 16 of the Tour de France.

After the finish in Romans-sur-Isère, which Matthews (Team Sunweb) won by a wheel's length, TV footage caught Degenkolb riding alongside Matthews and appearing to strike him on the back of the head and left ear.

It is assumed that Degenkolb was upset about Matthews' sprint, and the post-race incident angered the Australian who said "I don’t think it’s very sportsmanlike.”

At the finish of stage 17, outside his team's hotel, Degenkolb told Cycling Weekly: "We spoke this morning."

Questioned on what his view was on the situation, the Trek-Segafredo rider refused to go into detail, saying: "Yesterday is yesterday and today is another day."

The 2015 Paris-Roubaix winner was reluctant to speak about the spat. Asked what he and Matthews spoke about in their exchange, he replied: "I think we have spoken already enough about it. The situation is over. It's a cleared up situation."

Degenkolb is likely to have two further chances of beating Matthews before the Tour finishes.

Friday's stage to Salon-de-Provence should end in a sprint, while Sunday's stage in Paris is expected to be contested by the remaining sprinters, including green jersey incumbent Matthews, Degenkolb and André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal).

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Chris Marshall-Bell

Chris first started writing for Cycling Weekly in 2013 on work experience and has since become a regular name in the magazine and on the website. Reporting from races, long interviews with riders from the peloton and riding features drive his love of writing about all things two wheels.

Probably a bit too obsessed with mountains, he was previously found playing and guiding in the Canadian Rockies, and now mostly lives in the Val d’Aran in the Spanish Pyrenees where he’s a ski instructor in the winter and cycling guide in the summer. He almost certainly holds the record for the most number of interviews conducted from snowy mountains.