Dear Michael

1 September 2014

Dear Michael,
it was great teamwork. You said it yourself. And so it was. You won the stage and took the red jersey. Michael Matthews, the leader in the Vuelta for three days. Don’t underestimate it, because wearing the leader’s jersey is something to be quite proud of. It’s just such a shame that all the attention in the cycling summary at the end of the season will go to that German sprinter, Marcel Kittel, winner of four stages in this year’s Tour de France. It’s impressive, I know. He also took the famous yellow jersey after the first stage, just like he did last year. It was a pity that he was only able to enjoy it for one day.

Impressive or not, what you’ve done this year is also pretty amazing. You are making great progress. Winning a stage in the Tour of Slovenia, becoming 2nd in the Brabantse Pijl, winning a stage in the Giro d’Italia. In fact, you wore the pink leader’s jersey for six days. Beat that, Kittel. In three weeks’ time you will turn 24. You are still so young. I dare to say that this year is your best year so far.

I honestly think that you are ready. You are ready for the Tour de France. I can’t wait to see you ride through the streets of Utrecht next year. And I can imagine that you want to sprint against Kittel. After all, he has beaten you twice in the Giro earlier this year. You must want revenge for that. The Tour de France will be the perfect opportunity to do so. On the first day, in the first sprint. You just have to cross the finish line before all the other sprinters. And Kittel, of course. And if you manage to do that, then you will not only win the first stage, you will also be the first leader. Now don’t worry, I’m sure that after pink and red, yellow will look fine on you too. Beat that, Kittel.

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