Cycling

Matthews at the double in Switzerland

Michael Matthews (Getty Images)
Michael Matthews (Getty Images)

Lausanne - Australian sprinter Michael Matthews of Sunweb pulled on the leader's yellow jersey after winning the third stage of the Tour of Switzerland on Monday.

The 26-year-old sprinted ahead of the field at the end of the 159.3km stage, with Slovak world champion Peter Sagan of Bora second and Germany's John Degenkolb of Trek third.

Matthews took the overall race lead from Switzerland's Stefan Kung (BMC) and now leads Dutch team-mate Tom Dumoulin, the Giro d'Italia winner, by 10 seconds with Sagan third another second further back.

It was Matthews's second win of the season having taken a stage at the Tour of the Basque Country.

Following two successive stages favouring the sprinters, Tuesday's 150km fourth stage will see the specialist climbers and overall contenders come to the fore in the uphill finish to Villars-sur-Ollon.

The Tour of Switzerland is one of two main pre-Tour de France warm-up events, although it has lost prestige compared to the Criterium du Dauphine in recent years.

While the winner of the Dauphine went on to win the Tour in four out of five years from 2012 to 2016, the last time a Swiss Tour champion also claimed Grand Boucle glory was Belgian great Eddy Merckx in 1974 - although disgraced American Lance Armstrong did that particular double in 2001 before being stripped of both results for doping.

Results from the 159.3km third stage of the Tour of Switzerland from Menziken to Bern on Monday:

1. Michael Matthews (AUS/SUN) 3hr 49min 48sec, 2. Peter Sagan (SVK/BOR) same time, 3. John Degenkolb (GER/TRE) s.t., 4. Tim Wellens (BEL/LOT) s.t., 5. Michael Albasini (SWI/ORI) s.t., 6. Patrick Bevin (NZL/CAN) s.t., 7. Arthur Vichot (FRA/FDJ) s.t., 8. Matteo Trentin (ITA/QST) s.t., 9. Jan Bakelants (BEL/ALM) s.t., 10. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) s.t.

Overall standings

1. Michael Matthews (AUS/Giant) 8hr 18min 47sec, 2. Tom Dumoulin (NED/SUN) at 10sec, 3. Peter Sagan (SVK/BOR) 11, 4. Damiano Caruso (ITA/BMC) 19, 5. Michael Albasini (SWI/ORI) 20, 6. Patrick Bevin (NZL/CAN) 22, 7. Matteo Trentin (ITA/QST) 23, 8. John Degenkolb (GER/TRE) 24, 9. Jon Izagirre (ESP/BAH) 25, 10. Marc Soler (ESP/MOV) s.t.

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