Michael Matthews enters rarefied air alongside his idol

Michael Matthews has always looked up to Simon Gerrans, so having him there as the Canberran joined him in rarified air made this one extra special.

The Canberra cycling star claimed his second one-day WorldTour victory in three days at the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal to complete a clean sweep of the Canadian leg.

Michael Matthews celebrates on the podium.

Photo: Peter McCabe/The Canadian Press

Matthews' triumph came days after he outsprinted Belgium's Greg Van Avermaet and Jasper Stuyven to salute in the Grand Prix Cycliste de Québec on Saturday.

The 27-year-old Team Sunweb rider was rapt to emulate one of his idols in Gerrans given his fellow countryman achieved the feat four years ago.

"I still can't really believe it myself," Matthews said.

"When I saw what Simon Gerrans did in 2014 I was at the Vuelta and it was something special for Cycling Australia to see an Aussie achieve what Simon achieved in these races.

"It was a massive goal for me also to achieve. He had so many great wins, I always looked up to him. It was great to have him here in the race to witness what I did. It's also very special because I think it was his last WorldTour race today. It's pretty sad that he won't be in the peloton next season.

Matthews managed to upstage Italian hopeful Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida) to cross the finish line first and claim the highest spot on the podium, while Belgium's Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) finished third to back up his second-place finish in Québec City two days prior.

"Sonny was very strong, he rode a very good race. I was suffering on the climb and Sonny was going over easily. I was a bit scared because he is a super fast sprinter," Matthews said.

"But the team did a great job to keep the bunch together for a bunch sprint. I'm just super happy I could finish for them today."

The Australian star is enjoying a stellar end to an otherwise frustrating season, who admitted prior to the races he had only recently discovered he had been riding with his saddle eight millimetres too high all season.

Michael Matthews celebrates another win.

Photo: Peter McCabe/The Canadian Press

The man known as "Bling" can now add the one-day triumphs to a sparkling resume which already includes stage victories on all three of the Grand Tours, as well as the green jersey at last year's Tour de France.

However Matthews, who has two podiums in Peter Sagan's past three world championship victories, will not be on hand for this year’s climber-friendly road course in Europe after being overlooked by Australian selectors.

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