Australian rider Michael Matthews says cycling is starting to resemble boxing with how physical it is becoming.
The Team BikeExchange rider is one of the more experienced competitors on the UCI WorldTour and believes “respect” has “definitely gone” among the peloton.
Matthews was speaking on the Unplugged podcast, where he expressed his thoughts on how cycling is changing.
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“When I first turned professional it was really like there were guys in the peloton you looked up to and if they said something, that’s what you did even if you were in a different team”, he said.
“Even for me coming back into the Classics again, every year it is just getting more and more crazy. Cycling now has just turned into more like a boxing match than a bike race.
It doesn’t matter who you are, someone is going to bomb underneath you in a corner or take you out, or head butt you, or elbow you or anything.
”Either you can deal with that and race, and do it back, or maybe you can’t so I think maybe this year with the corona, it seems to be more crazy than other years, that’s for sure.“
Matthews added that one of the biggest changes he has experienced in recent years are ages of the challengers claiming the titles, such as 22-year old Tour de France champion Tadej Pogacar.
"When I came through the guys that were the big superstars were mid 30’s”, he said.
They were the guys that won bike races and now its these young guys and it is putting so much pressure on them at such a young age. It is going to be quite difficult for them to have a long career.
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