Michael Matthews wins Tour de France stage 14 after solo ride

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MENDE, France — Michael Matthews of Australia posted a solo win on the 14th stage of the Tour de France after a long breakaway and a tremendous effort in the last climb on Saturday.

It was Matthews’ fourth stage win at cycling’s biggest race.

The Australian was part of a group of 23 riders who broke from the pack after a frenetic start to the stage punctuated by a flurry of attacks on hilly ground from Saint-Etienne to Mende.

Matthews, from the BikeExchange-Jayco team, launched a solo effort about 50 kilometers from the finish and reduced the leading group to just four men.

He was joined by Italian rider Alberto Bettiol in the Côte de la Croix Neuve, a short but punishing three-kilometer ascent with a gradient of more than 10% followed by a short descent across the airfield to the finish line.

Matthews fought hard to stay in Bettiol’s wheel then countered his rival near the top of the climb and never looked back. Frenchman Thibaut Pinot completed the podium.

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Michael Matthews wins Tour de France stage 14 after solo ride originally appeared on NBCSports.com