Michael Matthews unhappy after being 'grabbed' by John Degenkolb in post-race spat (video)

Degenkolb apparently upset with Matthews' sprint on 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)

Michael Matthews (Team Sunweb) has registered his discontent after a spat with Tour de France stage 16 runner up John Degenkolb (Trek-Segafredo) after the finish in Romans-sur-Isère.

A video shortly after the finish line, where the Australian won ahead of Degenkolb by a wheel's length, shows the incident, which will not be digested well at a Tour de France that has already saw Peter Sagan disqualified for irregular sprinting.

The footage shows Degenkolb ride up from behind on the right and appear to strike Matthews on the back of the head and left ear.

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"I was waiting for the result and he grabbed me on the way past," Matthews said. "The officials saw it. We'll see what the officials will do about it. I don't think it's very sportsmanlike."

In the jury post-stage press release, Degenkolb failed to appear with other violations, including four riders fined 100 Swiss Francs for sticky bottles.

The UCI jury, ever-vigilant after the stage four Sagan incident, could still decide on the newly emerged footage. In 2010, when Carlos Barredo attacked Rui Costa after the finish, the jury fined them 400 Swiss Francs each, with Barredo also receiving a two month ban at the start of the 2011 season.

>>> Five talking points from stage 16 of the Tour de France

Trek-Segafredo lodged a complained against Matthews's sprint, saying that the Australian nudged the German sprinter in the final metres of Tuesday's stage, a charge that Matthews rejected.

"From my perspective, I don't think I did anything wrong. I didn't change my line, I sprinted in a straight line," Matthews responded.

"I'm not sure what was wrong with Degenkolb, but that's up to him."

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Gregor Brown

Gregor Brown is an experienced cycling journalist, based in Florence, Italy. He has covered races all over the world for over a decade - following the Giro, Tour de France, and every major race since 2006. His love of cycling began with freestyle and BMX, before the 1998 Tour de France led him to a deep appreciation of the road racing season.