Dutch star Cees Bol upset his more illustrious sprint opponents to win stage two of the Paris-Nice eight-day stage-race today.
Matthews took over as race leader having accumulated enough bonus seconds during the stage.
After winning Sunday’s opening stage, Deceuninck-Quick-Step’s Sam Bennett was the favourite heading into the stage, but could only manage fifth place on the 188km ride from Oinville-sur-Montcient to Amilly.
“It’s the best feeling. I had a bit of a struggle at the start of the season, I wasn’t so good until now, but we kept believing and today, with superb help from my teammates, we smashed it,” a thrilled Bol said.
“We went well through the last corner. I was close to being boxed in by Nils Eekhoff but he recognised the moment and kept the door open for me.
“I found a good wheel. The guys from Trek did a strong lead-out, but I started my sprint at the right moment and had the power to hold it to the line,” Bol added.
Tuesday’s stage three will see the riders tackle a 14.3km individual time-trial around Gien.
Results of stage two of Paris-Nice:
1 Cees Bol (Ned) Team DSM 04:27:59
2 Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo
3 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange
4 Bryan Coquard (Fra) B&B Hotels p/b KTM
5 Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-QuickStep
6 John Degenkolb (Ger) Lotto Soudal
7 Pascal Ackermann (Ger) Bora-Hansgrohe
8 Phil Bauhaus (Ger) Bahrain Victorious
9 Jasper Philipsen (Bel) Alpecin-Fenix
10 Rudy Barbier (Fra) Israel Start-up Nation
General classification after stage two of Paris-Nice:
1 Michael Matthews (Aus) Team BikeExchange 08:19:23
2 Mads Pedersen (Den) Trek-Segafredo 00:00:04
3 Sam Bennett (Irl) Deceuninck-QuickStep 00:00:04
4 Cees Bol (Ned) Team DSM 00:00:04
5 Arnaud Demare (Fra) Groupama-FDJ 00:00:08
6 André Greipel (Ger) Israel Start-up Nation 00:00:11
7 Tiesj Benoot (Bel) Team DSM 00:00:12
8 Florian Vermeersch (Bel) Lotto Soudal 00:00:12
9 Jasper Stuyven (Bel) Trek-Segafredo 00:00:13
10 Ben Swift (GBr) Ineos Grenadiers 00:00:13