Tour de France 2021 news - Michael Matthews: Our team is at 'another level'
The Team BikeExchange rider - who won the green jersey plus two stages in 2017 - says he and his colleagues are all set for this year's edition. The Australian says they begin the race with massive levels of motivation, and will be pushing as a collective for success. Watch the Tour de France LIVE on Eurosport and Eurosport App
Michael Matthews of Australia and Team Bikeexchange during the 84th Tour de Suisse 2021, Stage 7 a 23,2km Individual Time Trial stage from Disentis-Sedrun to Andermatt
Team BikeExchange rider Michael Matthews says he and his colleagues are "at another level" ahead of the 2021 edition of the Tour de France.
"This year is a little bit different," he told Eurosport on The Cycling Show. "We have more options in the race...we need to figure out where our best opportunities are to win stages and focus on them a bit more on than on the flat stages.
"We have Simon Yates, we have Lucas Hamilton and we also have Esteban Chavez. We have lots of options to win stages. When you're winning as a team, the ball starts rolling, and everything starts working out in your favour.
"And in the Tour de France, if you're on the backfoot, then it's quite difficult to turn around. So I think if the whole team is motivated and really energised to go for those wins, hopefully we can have a good Tour de France, and having guys like this, they're not out for themselves. We're all out for each other, to try and help each other to win the stage, for the team and for each other.
And I think that's what brings the team up to another level.
‘It’s difficult to not get emotional’ – Matthews recalls 2017 green jersey win
And he warned all the riders to be prepared for anything over the course of the race.
"I think you need to go in with a with a clear plan, but be ready for change," he said. "I don't think there's any race in the calendar like the Tour de France that more things can change in the one day than you could ever expect.
"Things can change - with crashes, with sickness, with everything in the Tour de France. I've been through everything that could possibly happen myself - getting food poisoning two years ago and being out of the race...to breaking four ribs on stage three a couple of years before that, and winning the green jersey and two stages [in 2017]!"