Matt Goss vows to try again after being beaten into second once more
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Thursday, May 10, 2012

Matt Goss vows to try again after being beaten into second once more

by Ben Atkins at 1:53 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia
Aussie sprinter surprised by profile of stage’s closing kilometres; back within touching distance of pink

matt gossAfter finally winning his first race in the colours of Orica-GreenEdge on stage three, Matt Goss was condemned to yet another second place by Team Sky’s World Champion Mark Cavendish on stage five. The Australian was one of the few sprinters to have made it to the finish however, after a fierce pace set by the Katusha, Liquigas-Cannondale, and Astana teams on the climb to Gabicce Monte, and the Strada Panoramica Adriatica that followed.

“I felt really comfortable on the climb,” he said. “As I went over the top, I did have a little bit of trouble breathing. There’s a lot of pollen here today, and I was coughing and struggling to get my breath.

“I think it a bit of an allergy or something rather than a reaction to the effort because it wasn’t until I was coming over the top that I started to have trouble.”

The course of the fifth stage, between the birthplace of Enzo Ferrari in Modena, and the Adriatic resort of Fano was almost completely flat and billed as one for the sprinters. The late climb, and subsequent rolling roads took many by surprise however, which saw most of Goss and Cavendish’s rivals dropped.

“Today was quite easy until the final 30 kilometres,” Goss explained. “The [published course] profile told a fib today about the finish. It was difficult with lots of up and down not represented clearly on the paper. Despite the difficulties, our entire team was there.”

The stage long breakaway was finally extinguished by Liquigas-Cannondale in the final 20km, and Goss was well placed in the peloton as it powered on the flat approach to the finish. He lost contact with his leadout in the closing stages however, forcing him to improvise in his sprint finish.

“We looked good coming into the last few corners until I lost a wheel in the final turn,” he said. “The guys definitely made the right decisions regarding positioning in the corners, and that was encouraging to see. Once I lost the wheel, I was a bit too far back.

“I was two positions behind Cav, so I made the decision to go early to get the jump on him,” he continued. “As I was level with his wheel, he stepped out. I had another go at the finish, but I didn’t have enough to fully pass him, and he got the win today.”

Despite being pushed back to second by Cavendish - a place he had occupied five times in the two weeks that preceded his stage three victory - Goss still holds the red points jersey by a 12-point margin over the World champion. A 12-second bonus on the line, added to the five seconds gained after maglia rosa incumbent Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Barracuda) finished behind a split in the peloton, has also lifted him to within 13 seconds of the race lead.

A victory in the sixth stage would put Goss into pink - as it would Cavendish - but the hilly 210km parcours between Urbino and Porto Sant’Elpidio might be too much for the sprinters’ teams to control.

“Tomorrow is a bit of an unknown,” Goss explained. “We could see a break stay away, but it’s definitely a stage where I want to give it my all and see what I can do. If I make it to the finish, we could get the stage win, and I’m not far enough from the race lead that I’ve completely forgotten about my chances for the leader’s jersey.”


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