Michael Matthews has renewed his contract with Australian team, Orica-GreenEdge for two more years, through 2016, after enjoying his most successful year yet.
“For me this is the perfect team and I wouldn’t think of going anywhere else,” the 23-year-old Australian said. “I feel really comfortable in the team and my results are speaking for that.”
Matthews starts the Vuelta a España today in southern Spain with a team that includes Adam Yates and Esteban Chaves. The young and multi-pronged team is like the one that Orica sent to the Giro d’Italia this May and that gave Matthews his opportunities.
He took over the pink leader’s jersey one day after the team won the time trial in Belfast and kept it for six days, one of which included the stage win at Montecassino. It boosted his career, which already includes a world road title in the Under-23 ranks and two stage wins in the Vuelta a España in 2013.
“Michael is a winner and an extraordinary talent on the bike,” explained Sport Director Matt White. “This year, he’s accomplished a lot and I think we’re yet to see the full scope of what he’s capable of.
“What we saw at the Giro is just another example of how he continues to take massive steps in his career on this team. He’s a very serious athlete and with the support we can give him, he will be able to make the most of his efforts.”
Orica had Matthews down to make his debut in the Tour de France in July but a training crash beforehand in Monaco ruled him out. Matthews instead shifted his focus to the Vuelta, where he won stages in Lago de Sanabria and Madrid last year.
Like in the Giro, a time trial win today could set up the team – perhaps Matthews – for a run in the leader’s red jersey. Regardless, Matthews has at least two more years in Orica to shine.
“I have still got a big year ahead of me now,” Matthews added, “but I am looking forward to the next two years and hopefully trying to step it up again with more wins.”
Michael 'Bling' Matthews will not start Tour de France for Orica-GreenEdge, replaced by Christian Meier
23-year-old Australian Michael Matthews says he's had an amazing week in the coveted maglia rosa