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Michael Matthews powers to win at Bretagne Classic – Ouest

The Sunweb sprint specialist outrode Luka Mezgec and Florian Sénéchal by one second, with a strong kick to the line.

Michael Matthews notched another win, this time at the 84th edition of the Bretagne Classic.

The Sunweb sprint specialist outrode Luka Mezgec (Mitchelton-Scott) and Florian Sénéchal (Deceuninck–Quick-Step) by one second, with a strong kick to the line.

“It was super hard today, but my team did a great job all the day to keep me in position… and I sprinted to perfection,” said Matthews. “I knew I was very fit. And I won my second race after confinement. I am very happy,” added the Australian.

The three were part of a seven-rider group who had a slight gap on the field in the final 1,500 meters of a 248.7-kilometer day.

Rémi Cavagna (Deceuninck–Quick-Step) who last weekend won the French national championship road race was away for most of the day, in a group of eight riders.

In rain-slicked roads, the escapees gained as much as seven minutes, while their numbers dwindled to six.

The French national champion attacked the break at 80km to go, while the small group of escapees gave chase.

But with 45km of racing left, the peloton had caught the escapees, and the attacks came furiously while the main field was reduced by half.

Quick-Step’s Sénéchal raised the pace in the closing kilometers of the final ascent, but with the superior numbers of Team Sunweb, this move was neutralized.

Matthews’ teammate Nils Eekhoff split the break and appeared to be in position to take the win, but eased to allow Matthews position in the final dash for the line.

American Quinn Simmons (Trek-Segafredo) who won the UCI junior world road championship in 2019 finished in sixth.

Matthews has been showing well since the racing restart a month ago, finishing in third at Milano-Sanremo.

The Australian will not start the Tour Saturday, but he is expected to line up at the Giro.