Giro d’Italia: Goss off to solid start with second place behind Cavendish
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Sunday, May 6, 2012

Giro d’Italia: Goss off to solid start with second place behind Cavendish

by Kyle Moore at 6:47 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Orica-GreenEdge sprinter looking for top of podium after string of seconds

Matt GossMatt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) has recently put together a chain of runner-up finishes in bunch sprints and added another today in stage two of the Giro d’Italia. The Aussie sprinter was out-gunned by Mark Cavendish (Sky Procycling), who zoomed to the stage victory in Herning.

But after taking the second spot in the hectic finale, Goss expressed his pleasure with the finish in comments on the team website. Goss avoided a crash involving Theo Bos (Rabobank) and Alexander Kristoff (Katusha) on the final bend, and withstood challenges from Thor Hushovd (BMC Racing) and Geoffrey Soupe (FDJ-BigMat) to take second.

“I’m happy with the result,” Goss concluded afterward. “This is the first time our [sprint] train rode together. We haven’t all been at the same race yet this year. It’s a good start, and I definitely see areas where we can improve. When we consider second as our starting place, it gives me confidence that we will get a win in the next week or two.”

After an outstanding 2011 season that saw him take the Milan-Sanremo title racing for HTC-Highroad, Goss has yet to pick up an individual win for Orica-GreenEdge in 2012. He was a part of the winning team time trial in Tirreno-Adriatico, and he has taken the top of the podium on multiple occasions to pick up leader’s jerseys – both in Tirreno-Adriatico and the Tour of Turkey. But after runner-up finishes on four separate stages in Turkey, Goss will be hungry for a win in Italy.

“It’s no disgrace to finish second to the fastest guy in the world,” team director Matt White said of Cavendish. “We have a few more stages to knock him off his pedestal yet.”

“Daryl Impey, Tomas Vaitkus and Brett Lancaster did good work for us in the final ten kilometers,” White stated. “We actually didn’t have a television in the car, so I had to rely on the riders to report back to me, but from what I can hear things went well for us during the last hour of racing.”

The stage finale, raced on the same roads as the conclusion of the time trial yesterday, was nerve-wracking as sprint trains tried to organize themselves for the finish. Elbows and shoulders protruded as riders struggled for favoured wheels. While the crash in the final corner involving Bos and Kristoff seemed to be due to innocent hard racing, Goss wasn’t shocked to see the fireworks.

“While the racing may have been easy, it was a high stress day,” he added. “The first road stage of any Grand Tour always is. It makes for a nervous bunch, and it can sometimes be difficult for a team to stay together.

“The crash was no surprise. We went through the final corner fast. None of our guys were involved. I hope everyone that was is okay. I ended up on the front too early. Thor jumped first, and I went across to him. I found myself ahead of the other guys and felt Cav closing in on me. We drag raced for about 100 meters before he pulled away.”

Goss and Orica-GreenEdge get another crack at it tomorrow, as the race goes 190 kilometers around Horsens, on the final day in Denmark.


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