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Crash foils Matthews in cycling

  • Crash foils Matthews in cycling

    Michael Matthews bid to win his first cycling monument was foiled when he crashed at Milan-San Remo.

Michael Matthews' bid to win his first cycling monument was foiled when the Australian star crashed at Milan-San Remo.

But compatriot Heinrich Haussler showed on Saturday night (AEDT) that two years of mediocre results might be behind him with a top-10 result.

Frenchman Arnaud Demare had the biggest win of his career when he took out the 295km race, the first one-day classic of the season.

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Haussler was seventh in the bunch sprint and Matthews finished 36 seconds later in 59th place.

Matthews came into the race with outstanding form, having started his season last week with two stage wins and six days in the leader's jersey at Paris-Nice.

The Orica-GreenEDGE leader was caught in a pileup just before the Cipressa climb, inside the last 30km.

Matthews suffered cuts on his left arm as they crashed at 50-60km/h, but was more upset about missing out on a chance to contest for the win.

"Obviously I'm devastated," Matthews told the cyclingnews website.

"I was in the wrong place at the wrong time, the team rode really well all day and everything was going perfectly.

"This was everything, this was my world championships for the start of the season.

"I was flying today and had no real troubles all day."

Matthews blamed the crash on a rival team deciding to re-position from one side of the road to the other, causing wheels to overlap.

"I wish everyone could ride a bit more as a group and with a bit more safety in numbers," he said.

"It should have been the win in the end, but unfortunately it wasn't our day."

After winning stages at the Giro d'Italia and Vuelta a Espana, the obvious next progression is for Matthews to claim one of cycling's five monuments, the sport's most prized one-day races.

Next month features the Tour of Flanders, Paris-Roubaix and Liege-Bastogne-Liege, where fellow Orica-GreenEDGE rider Simon Gerrans was the first Australian winner two years ago.

The fifth monument is the Giro di Lombardia at the end of the season.

Meanwhile, Haussler was rapt with his seventh at Milan-San Remo.

Apart from winning the Australian title in January last year, it has been a barren spell for the talented allrounder.

"I have matured and focused on my work all winter," the IAM rider said.

"I really worked to clear my mind of all those disappointments of the past years.

"Today, I feel my efforts and sacrifices have been rewarded and I don't intend to stop here."

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