Michael Matthews (right) celebrates his bronze medal with winner Peter Sagan of Slovakia, centre, and silver medallist Alexander Kristoff.
Michael Matthews (right) celebrates his bronze medal with winner Peter Sagan of Slovakia, centre, and silver medallist Alexander Kristoff. Cornelius Poppe

Matthews third in world road race title bid

MICHAEL Matthews has claimed Australia's fourth medal at the UCI Road World Championships in Norway with a bronze in the men's road race.

Looking to become the first Australian since Cadel Evans in 2009 to win the world title, Matthews was one of the favourites to take the crown from Peter Sagan.

The 26-year-old from Canberra led the sprint out in the final 500 metres of the course in Bergen but was overtaken by Slovakian superstar Sagan and Norway's Alexander Kristoff to finish third.

It was Sagan's third straight win as he once again rode off with the prestigious rainbow jersey.

"What I would change? I wouldn't attack so many times on the final climb - I didn't know it would come down to such a big bunch sprint, but I think I wasted a lot of energy when I was trying to go with the moves and attacking myself on the climb,” Matthews said after the race.

"If I could take something back, I'd probably sit back with these guys [Kristoff and Sagan]  and cruise up the climb. I that's what's zapped me for the sprint today.

"I jumped a lot with guys attacking but they were never really going anywhere.

"The bunch was still too big and I wasted energy from doing that.

"Sagan was still sitting back in the bunch and gambling on it coming back together. Maybe that's what I should have done too. There's nothing I can do now, I guess.”

"It was a pretty hectic and there were a lot of attacks going inside the final five kilometres. I just tried to play it cool and save my legs for the sprint.

"I was in a good position with around 500m to go but I got a little bit swamped by Sagan and one of the Czech riders.

"I tried to fight my way back between the last two corners but I wasted that energy when I needed it for the sprint.”


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