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Youngster Michael Matthews surprises vets at Jayco Classic in Oz

Michael Matthews, the reigning U23 world champion, got the better of his more experienced veterans in the second leg of the Jayco Bay Cycling Classic.

Matthews, 19, outkicked Simon Gerrans (Sky) and Joe Lewis (Urban) to win the second stage of the criterium series that serves as preparation for the Australian national championships and the Tour Down Under later this month.

Matthews also takes the lead in the points ranking system, slipping ahead of Sunday’s winner Matt Goss by one point, with Matthews leading Goss 17-16. Chris Sutton, second Sunday and 10th today, slots into third with 11 points.

Matthews, who will be racing this season with Rabobank, didn’t waste any time to make an impression among the pro ranks. After a highly successful 2010 season racing in the espoirs category, Matthews won nearly 10 races capped by eighth overall at the Tour de l’Avenir, fourth at the Tour of Japan and the gold medal in the U23 world road race.

Tiffany Cromwell (Honda) won the women’s race ahead of Lauren Kitchen and Alex Carle. Sunday’s winner Rochelle Gilmore crossed the line sixth to maintain her series lead, 17 to 12, ahead of teammate Cromwell.

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