Giro d’Italia 2014: Grande Partenza – five observations

Michael Matthews marches on but Marcel Kittel plays down red jersey chances

Michael Matthews may be just 23, but having already marked his debut Giro d’Italia with a team time trial stage win and the pink jersey – which he will wear when racing resumes in Italy – the Orica-GreenEDGE man is on the march. A two-time stage winner at the Vuelta a Espana, the young Australian has now worn the green jersey in Spain, the pink jersey in Italy and also be crowned under-23 world champion in his short career to date.

Michael Matthews celebrates another day in the pink jersey of race leader. pic: ©Sirotti

But Matthews is not done yet. While admitting Marcel Kittel is unstoppable on the flat stages, the Australian has targeted stages five and six, two medium-mountain stages, which appear better suited to his abilities. Milan-San Remo did not work out for Matthews, but he proved he can climb at the Amstel Gold Race, where he finished 12th, and there is no reason to doubt he can win the two stages in Italy. Even if he does not, his target of keeping the pink jersey for a week will add to his profile no end.

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