Michael Matthews has revealed he slept with his Tour de France green jersey before stage 18.

The Australian rider proudly received the prize for leading the points competition on Wednesday afternoon when rival Marcel Kittel pulled out of the race following a crash.

And Matthews was so honoured that he took the cherished jersey to bed with him that night.

“It’s been such a long journey to get here that I’m really enjoying this as much as I can. I slept with my podium jersey – it shows how much this means to me,” Matthews told letour.com.

The 26-year-old from Canberra now has an unassailable lead in the points competition and just has to stay on his bike to the finish line in Paris to join Robbie McEwen and Baden Cooke as Tour de France green jersey winners.

But with the likes of Kittel, Peter Sagan and Mark Cavendish all out of the race, Matthews has his sights set on one more huge achievement.

“First of all we have to make it to Paris. And there, who knows?” he added.

“If the team can give me a good lead-out I might try to go for the stage win. It’s the next dream.”

Matthews completed stage 18 safely, with his Sunweb team-mate Warren Barguil taking the victory with a brilliant climb of the Col d’Izoard.

Romain Bardet picked up some bonus time for third place, but Chris Froome remains overall leader by 23 seconds with just three stages remaining.