Two emails sent three hours apart tell the story of another team switch mid-contract involving a high-profile rider from Team Sunweb. Michael Matthews will leave the German team at the end of 2020 and return to the Australian-registered Mitchelton-Scott squad.
Part 1: Team Sunweb release Matthews
(8.42pm 30 August 2020. European Central time)
“We are now in a position where the composition of the team has changed,” said Iwan Spekenbrink about the decision to allow Michael to break his contract a year early and leave the German-registered Sunweb team.
“We want to exploit that broadened collective strength in the Classics and the sprints. We respect that Michael has been open about his view on our goals and tactics in relation to his own specific strengths.
“Michael is an incredibly gifted rider; he is ambitious, we’ve really achieved great things together and he has been a good fit to the team. All of this combined made us decide to respond favourably to his request to search for opportunities elsewhere.”
Part 2: Mitchelton-Scott welcome Matthews
(12.54am 31 August 2020. European Central time)
“I saw a moment where it just felt right,” says Michael Matthews in the return volley of team statements, this time from Mitchelton-Scott, a few hours after the Sunweb announcement.
“As a sprinter and as a rider you feel moments like this and sometimes you just have to go with instinct.
“The opportunity was there to come back and you have to take them when they are there. At this moment in my career it just felt right, and the team has welcomed me back with open arms which is really special.
“I’m definitely happy to be coming back, I have some amazing memories from GreenEdge.
“Gerry Ryan supported me through my under-19, under-23 days and also in helping me turn professional, so it just feels like coming home.
“I want to get my own results, but also to be a part of the team that has GC goals as well. We will have Simon Yates that can win the biggest Grand Tours in the world and I would love to be part of that and there’s some young guys coming through, to help them progress too.
“I wouldn’t put it down to one particular race or result to make the next two years successful, but I want to progress as a rider and as a team-mate and enjoy races.”