Matt Goss Interview: “There’s no point just riding myself into the ground”
  April 21, 2018 Login  

Current Articles    |   Archives    |   RSS Feeds    |   Search

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Matt Goss Interview: “There’s no point just riding myself into the ground”

by Ben Atkins at 8:49 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Interviews, Spring Classics, Injury
GreenEdge sprinter speaks to VeloNation about his health problems of 2012 after abandoning halfway through the Ronde van Vlaanderen

matt gossThe season has been a tough one so far for GreenEdge’s Matt Goss, as the Australian sprinter has been struggling to match his results of the previous year. The 2011 Milano-Sanremo winner was forced to abandon Sunday’s Ronde van Vlaanderen, as the sickness that has blighted his spring struck once again, having completed little more than 120km of the 255km course.

The Australian was forced to sit up and roll back to the GreenEdge team bus, which was parked close to the finish in Oudenaarde. after showering and changing, Gossy spoke to VeloNation about the problems he’s been having in returning to full fitness, and the fact that Sunday was just not his day.

“No definitely not,” he said. “I’ve just been sick since Tirreno[-Adriatico], and been trying to fight it the whole time. I was on antibiotics for five days before Sanremo; got off them to race there and, because you go so deep in the final of a 300km race, I was sick again.”

The nature of the illness, particularly with the demands that racing at this level put on the body, means that Goss has been unable to fully recover before a hard race knocks him back again.

“I was sick though ‘til probably the Wednesday, then I got better just before Gent-Wevelgem, end up racing in the final of Gent-Wevelgem again; I got sick, and then I was back on antibiotics again before this race,” he explained.

“My body’s just done. I just need to take a bit of a break and just reset for the next part of the season.”

Not being able to finish the race, or at least last until the real action began in the closing stages, was bad news for Goss, but also for GreenEdge, which has been looking for a good result in the recent Northern Classics.

“It’s disappointing. I really wanted to be there to… I was never planning to race the final so much today, just to be there to help Sebastian [Langeveld], and Stuey [O’Grady], and the guys that are going well. So yeah, not really my day.”

The day was to get a whole lot worse for GreenEdge, as Langeveld was felled in a freak collision with a panicking spectator and fractured his collarbone. The team only had two finishers in the race; the best result was Jens Keukeleire, who finished in 31st place in the first peloton, 38 seconds behind winner Tom Boonen, while the other was Tomas Vaitkus, back in 87th, some 13’41” behind.

Even so, with Goss unable to contribute anything to the team effort, he’s sure that it was not worth continuing his own race.

“I could have rolled in the back and made it a bit further, but I’m not in a bike race to do that, you know,’ he said. “If I’m down the back then I’m not going good, then I’m not feeling good. I’m there to help the guys, and I couldn’t do that so there’s no point just riding myself into the ground.

“The sickness that I have, the flu and infection that I have to get rid of; it’s a pain, and I’m not going to be rid of it by riding in the back and just going in the red.”

Looking ahead to new goals in the summertime

matt gossGoss’ Classics campaign is scheduled to continue but, with the recurring nature of his illness, he feels it might be better to stop and rest, rather than take a valuable place in the team that could be given to someone healthy.

“The planned next race is Roubaix,” he explained, “but I’ll speak to the team, because if I’m not going to be any better there’s no point going there and doing the same thing; so, we’ll see what happens.”

Once the Spring Classics are over, Goss will begin to prepare for the Grand Tours of the summer, as well as the road race at London 2012, which is set up to be one of the big rendezvous for the sprinters this year.

“I think that’s the plan at the moment,” he said. “I’m going to try and train up for the Giro and the Tour, and then the Olympics - obviously - then some of the Classics after the Olympics.”

Thanks to the illness that he has been suffering from, Goss’ spring has been something of a write off, with twelfth in Gent-Wevelgem as his best result to date - although the team's victory in the Tirreno-Adriatico saw him lead the race for two days - in one of his favourite parts of the calendar.

“It’s only part of the season, it’s obviously very disappointing,” he said. “It was really disappointing for me last weekend, in Gent-Wevelgem, because I feel really, really good, I feel really strong, always at the front, and then to have it stuffed up. Maybe I wouldn’t have won, but I think I could have done a really good result there; and, because of a crazy sprint, I ended up just rolling across the finish line because I had no other option.

“It would have been nice to get a result for the team, and for myself, but…”

Despite a bad day for GreenEdge men in Flanders, 2012 has started very well for the new Australian team. Australian champion Simon Gerrans won the Santos Tour Down Under in January, then matched Goss’ Milano-Sanremo victory of last year with one of his own. The team’s other big result of the year was taken by its Swiss rider, Michael Albasini, who won the first two stages and the overall classification in the Volta a Catalunya.

All these WorldTour points have put the team fourth in the International Cycling Union (UCI) rankings, and Gerrans himself was only pushed off the top spot by Tom Boonen, following the Belgian’s Ronde van Vlaanderen victory.

“It’s really good,” said Goss. “Gerro’s been going good; Albertini, that was great down in Catalunya. It’s been really, really good, the team’s really gelled together; for a team in its first year I think they’ve done an amazing job.

“That’s why in races we ride really well as a team, everyone in the team gets along well and there’s a good spirit,” he added. “That’s really good in a brand new team.”


Subscribe via RSS or daily email

  Terms and Conditions | Privacy Policy  Copyright 2008-2013 by VeloNation LLC