Matthews banishes painful memories after 'perfect day'

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Michael Matthews was delighted to banish the painful memories of his previous finish at Rodez as the Sunweb rider won stage 14 of the Tour de France.

The Australian was suffering from debilitating injuries when the race last came to the small Occitanie commune in 2015, having been involved in a crash in a previous stage.

But on Saturday he and his team-mates rode brilliantly to take the honours ahead of Olympic road race champion Greg Van Avermaet on a day that closed with an uphill sprint finish and saw Chris Froome regain the yellow jersey from Fabio Aru.

"Last time we finished on this finish two years ago I had four broken ribs and skin all off my body," Matthews told Eurosport. "It was one of the stages I was really targeting that year also before I crashed. 

"Now to come back on the same finish to win it like that is really a dream come true.

"It was as expected. We rode all day. When we kept the breakaway so close I knew it was going to be hard to have a lot of team-mates in the final there, because we had to ride hard to bring [Thomas] De Gendt back.

"But we rode all day and we were still able to have two or three guys there with me in the final, so yes it was the perfect day."

Froome turned a six-second deficit into an 18-second lead as Team Sky regained control of the race.