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Australian Matthews heading 'home' to Mitchelton-Scott

FILE PHOTO: Cycling - Tour de France - The 200-km Stage 8 from Macon to Saint-Etienne - July 13, 2019 - Team Sunweb rider Michael Matthews of Australia finishes. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann/File Photo

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Eight-times Grand Tour stage winner Michael Matthews is returning to Australian pro cycling outfit Mitchelton-Scott on a two-year deal after being released from the last year of his contract with Team Sunweb.

Matthews, who rode for Mitchelton-Scott in 2013-16 when they were known as Orica-GreenEdge, had signed for the 2021-22 seasons, the team said.

“The opportunity was there to come back and you have to take them when they are there,” the 29-year-old said in a Mitchelton-Scott release late on Sunday.

“At this moment in my career it just felt right, and the team has welcomed me back with open arms which is really special.”

Matthews, who won the green jersey at the 2017 Tour de France as the overall points winner, was a surprise omission from Sunweb’s selections for the ongoing Tour but will ride for the team at the Giro d’Italia in October.

The Australian becomes the fourth rider to negotiate an early departure from Sunweb in recent seasons after Marcel Kittel, Warren Barguil and Tom Dumoulin all left before the end of their contracts.

Reporting by Ian Ransom; Editing by Peter Rutherford

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