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Canberra's Michael Matthews devastated at missing first Tour de France

Devastated. Canberra's Michael Matthews is struggling to come to terms with his training crash on Tuesday that has left his Tour de France dream in tatters.

The 23-year-old has six stitches in his hand, as well as gashes in his leg and arm that look to have ended his 2014 Tour.

Matthews held little hope of making the start line on Wednesday when he flew to England to join his OricaGreenEDGE teammates in Leeds, where this year's race will start and where he met the team doctor.

He tried to ride on Thursday, just two days before the start of the 101st Tour, but couldn't.

"Not good, can't ride," he said in a text afterwards.


It was meant to be the biggest moment in his career, but it all went suddenly wrong for the emerging star when he hit a speed bump on his last training ride in his home city of Monaco before he joined his GreenEDGE for the biggest race in cycling.

Matthews was going into the Tour in outstanding form, having worn the pink jersey for six days and won the sixth stage at this year's Giro d'Italia.

His form was so good it forced his team to pick him for the world's most famous race and he was putting the finishing touches of his preparation when it all went horribly wrong.

There was no hiding the disappointment in his voice as he tried to come to terms with the crash that couldn't have come at a worse time.

While Matthews is devastated now, it will only be a speed bump in what promises to be a glittering career.

"I've got six stitches in my hand, a hole out of my leg and a hole out of arm," Matthews told The Canberra Times.

"It's 95 per cent sure I'm not starting.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet, I'm just more devastated than anything after a lot of hard work."

Matthews was getting ready to join his team in Leeds and embark on the biggest test of his young career.

Coming down a hill, an earlier  car accident meant his training ride took an unexpected turn.

A detour forced him to ride over some speed humps on a road that was also scattered with rocks.

The shade of a tree meant he couldn't see what was ahead and he went tumbling over the handlebars on the same day he was named as part of GreenEDGE's nine-man team to take on the 2014 Tour, which starts on Saturday.

"I was coming down a hill and a car had rolled and the main road was blocked off, so they sent me down this little side road with all rocks all over near the trees," Matthews said.

"It had these little speed bumps there, these sharp speed bumps, and I jumped the first few and then I came around this corner and under the shade of the tree there was rocks everywhere.

"I hit the speed bump and my hands have gone off the handlebars and the rest is history."

After a frustrating two years with Dutch team Rabobank, Matthews joined GreenEDGE for the 2013 season and blossomed into one of the brightest young talents in the world.

He announced himself at last year's Vuelta a Espana, where he won two stages and held the green sprinter's jersey for two days as well.

Matthews missed out on riding in last year's Giro due to illness, but made up for lost time with an outstanding race in 2014 that was cut short following a crash.

It looks like he faces a similar fate with the Tour de France.