Despite finishing third in Tuesday’s stage 10, just behind Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ.fr) and Giacomo Nizzolo (Trek Factory), Matthews (Orica-GreenEdge) will not compete in the rest of the Giro due to a sore back and a bruised hip.
It is suspected that Orica-GreenEdge want Matthews to rest and recover, so that he can give the Tour de France a genuine crack, when it begins on July 5.
“After consulting with our medical staff, we have decided that it was the most prudent decision to take Michael out of the Giro,” a statement from Orica-GreenEdge read on Tuesday.
“He fought hard to get a result today and it was extremely impressive, knowing that he had a lot of pain after his crash the day before yesterday.
“He has a substantial contusion and is generally quite bruised, so everything taken into consideration, it was the right thing to do.”
Matthews wore the Giro’s pink jersey as overall leader from stage three to stage eight, while he also won stage six in an impressive opening week.
But the sprinter was always likely to lose the pink jersey when the Giro moved into the mountains and he eventually surrendered the overall lead to compatriot Cadel Evans (BMC) on Saturday.
On Sunday, the 23-year-old was involved in a crash and had been keen to retire, before deciding to wait for Tuesday’s flat stage, in the hope of paying back his team-mates with another stage win.
“Michael really wanted to stop a couple of days ago, the day of his crash,” Orica-GreenEdge’s sporting director Matthew White told Cycling Central.
“You’ve got to remember the team here has been killing themselves for Michael for a week and he acknowledges that and he’s trying to repay those guys for all the hard work they’ve done keeping him in the jersey.”
In the sprint finish to Tuesday’s 173-kilometre stage from Modena to Salsomaggiore-Terme, Matthews avoided another crash in the closing stages before producing enough speed to finish third, although he could not overhaul Bouhanni and Nizzolo for victory.
White added: “Michael turned himself inside out to get that result.
“He definitely has a lot of discomfort from his crash.”
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