Monday, 18 December, 2017

Tour de France Stage 16: Trouble for Team Quick-Step

Vera Richards | 19 July, 2017, 01:35

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. Missing was German Marcel Kittel (Quick-Step Floors), who was dropped early on the stage was also absent from the day's intermediate sprint, which Matthews won. "I think it won't sink in until tomorrow morning".

The QuickStep Floors rider had jumped into fifth on Sunday but, in Tuesday's stage from Le Puy-en-Velay to Romans-sur-lsere, he got caught on the wrong side of the split when the leading group moved in the final few kilometres as Michael Matthews crossed the line as the stage victor and Chris Froome retained the yellow jersey. "The officials saw that and I'm not sure what they're going to do about it, but it was not very sportsmanlike". We put on a courageous face this morning hoping that they would be able to protect me but in the end I only had Gianluca (Brambilla) and Jack (Bauer).

The crosswinds got rid of other top sprinters Andre Greipel and Alexander Kristoff, leaving little competition for Matthews at the finish.

He added: "Nothing is lost".

"Everyone knew that the last 20km would be in the wind with crosswinds", said Sky's Froome.

Martin, in a second chase group, lost almost a minute in the final 20km and dropped to more than two minutes behind Froome - a massive loss on a day that should've been quiet for GC.

Romain Bardet (France) and Rigoberto Uran (Colombia) are also both within 30 seconds of the lead with only five stages remaining. "We worked so hard to be in this position but it's not over".

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