Tour de France: Stage 12 penalty ends Matt Goss’ green jersey quest
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Saturday, July 14, 2012

Tour de France: Stage 12 penalty ends Matt Goss’ green jersey quest

by Ben Atkins at 6:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour de France
Australian sprinter only loses one place but 30-point fine means advantage Peter Sagan

matt gossThe disqualification of Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) from the stage 12 sprint did not appear at first to have particularly disastrous consequences, but the point penalty handed to the Australian later on has effectively ended his quest for the green jersey. Goss was leading jersey incumbent Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) toward the line in Annonay Davézieux as they raced for sixth place on the stage. The Orica-GreenEdge rider switched slightly as Sagan was shaping to come past, which blocked the Slovakian champion from launching a proper sprint.

Sagan raised his arm in protest, and the race jury agreed with him, and reversed the result.

"We can see in the video what [Matt] Goss did,” said Sagan to at the time. “It's up to the race jury to decide, not me but I think that it's obvious in the video. He did that because we are two riders who are going for the green jersey. He's the one who is doing battle with me but I hope I'm going to win that fight.”

As is usual in this situation, Goss was relegated to back of the group that he was in. Luckily for him, the two sprinters had pulled clear of the rest, which meant that he only lost one place and still collected 13 points in the green jersey race. Perhaps because of this minimal penalty, the race jury also decided to impose the additional punishment of a 30-point deduction.

[He was also fined 200 Swiss Francs (~203USD, ~167EUR, ~131GBP) and penalised 30 seconds in the general classification, neither of which he will be bothered by nearly so much - ed]

This extra penalty means that although Goss picked up 23 points in the stage [including ten at the intermediate sprint - ed], he ended the day with seven less than he started with. Sagan meanwhile picked up 22 points on the day - which, even after the relegation would have meant that Goss had closed the gap slightly - and the 22-year-old now leads Goss by 254 points to 198.

“Ah. It was a bit over the top – a bit too much of a penalty but... whatever," said Goss to before this morning’s stage, "I’ve got to deal with it and move on. I’ve seen the video because they showed it plenty of times on TV but there was plenty of road there, I think. [Sagan] was coming at me, he had his head down and I had my head down and I think there was a bit more of an overcompensation than was needed and a bit more acting than was needed but I can’t change anything, so – whatever.”

With a 56 point deficit to Sagan, and only four of the eight remaining stages to make it up in, Goss now concedes that the battle for the jersey is now over, which may mean that he will no longer chase points at the intermediate sprints.

“I don’t know, to be honest," he said. "We’ll have a meeting this morning before the race and see what we think.”

As Orica-GreenEdge’s sprinter however, Goss is obviously still aiming at taking a victory in one of those four remaining flat stages, with today’s seaside finish at Cap d’Agde likely to be windy.

“We haven’t really discussed today’s plan yet. We’re on our way to the start and once we get there we’ll have more of an idea. We’ll see what the wind is doing and I’ll find out what we decide to do today.

“We’ll have a few guys reporting in from the finish during the stage. Robbie [McEwen] should be there early and he’ll call through with a bit of info. I’m sure the wind will pick up later this afternoon.”


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