Michael Matthews claimed his maiden stage victory at the Tour de France after outlasting new green jersey holder Peter Sagan in a dramatic sprint finish at Revel. The Australian emerged from a breakaway group of seven to power to the finish on stage 10 and end years of misery at the grand tour event.
Matthews had been visited by Aussie-born England rugby coach Eddie Jones during stage nine and the visit inspired the 25-year-old to a win underlined by a tactical masterclass from Orica-BikeExchange, who had three riders in the final group. Sagan was edged out by the trio but does take the sprinter's jersey ahead of Britain's Mark Cavendish.
"It's unbelievable," Matthews said. "The emotion at the moment it is just sinking in. After two really bad years of this race, I was close to giving in. I thought this race is not for me and that I should focus on other races but today my dreams came true.
"It was never the plan to go in the breakaway, we were hoping to have a bunch sprint in the finish after that hard climb coming into the final. We have such a strong group of guys and the way that we work as a team, whoever is upon that day we give that rider 110%. They gave me their everything. No words."
Team Sky's Chris Froome retained his 16-second advantage over Simon Yates in his bid to claim a third yellow jersey during a comfortable stage, as the race approaches the halfway point. The Briton will be eager to hold on to his advantage ahead of the individual time trial later in the week which could allow the Kenyan-born rider to extend his advantage.