Leading sprinter out of Tour after crash

The Northern Echo: OUT: Michael Matthews will miss the Tour de France after a training crash OUT: Michael Matthews will miss the Tour de France after a training crash

ORICA-GREENEDGE sprinter Michael Matthews will miss the Tour de France following a crash in training earlier this week, his team have confirmed.

Matthews, who wore the leader's pink jersey during the opening week of the Giro d'Italia in May, had been expected to contend for stage victories in what would have been his Tour debut, but instead the 23-year-old known as 'Bling' will have to watch from the side-lines.

He crashed on Tuesday, hitting a stone on the road and suffering extensive cuts and bruising to his hands and arms.

Matthews has been replaced in the team's line-up by Canadian rider Christian Meier, who will make his Tour debut.

"Michael's obviously very disappointed that he's going to miss the Tour, but as a team we have to move on and it's the same with Michael," sporting director Matt White said. "He's got a lot of goals he can go after for the second half of the season.

"For us now it's about the Tour de France, it's about these nine riders and we've got a great group of riders here."

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