Tour de France Michael Matthews stays on at Tour de France despite breathing problems

Tour de France debutant Michael Matthews vowed to continue with the race despite suffering breathing difficulties after stage three crash.

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Michael Matthews took his place on stage four of the Tour de France despite breathing difficulties overnight after Monday's crash.

The Orica-GreenEdge rider was involved in the mass pile-up on stage three after William Bonnet (FDJ.fr) crashed in the middle of the peloton with 60kilometres to go.

Matthews' was one of five Orica riders to suffer injuries but, unlike Simon Gerrans (fractured wrist) and Daryl Impey (fractured collarbone), the Australian was able to start in Seraing.

"I'm a bit sore," he told Cyclingnews. "The skin off isn't that bad, a lot of riders hit me at about 70kmph into my ribs and my back. So that's the real sore point at the moment.

"It was really hard. I went to the ambulance and they said that I might have broken ribs but I wanted to finish the stage and see in the x-ray after what the damage is.

"They think it's just some contusions to my ribs so hopefully in the next couple of days it'll be ok.

"Through the night last night, I was really struggling to breathe. Every time I move it's like someone is putting a knife in my chest. It wasn't great.

"I actually woke up in the middle of the night having panic attacks thinking that I couldn't breathe. That was quite scary but I was able to get a little bit of sleep. Enough to feel a little bit better today."

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