Goss determined to fight on, Brown happy with form in Santos Tour Down Under
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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Goss determined to fight on, Brown happy with form in Santos Tour Down Under

by Shane Stokes at 12:06 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Tour Down Under
 
Both Australian riders motivated to shine in WorldTour race

Matt GossLosing his orange race leader’s jersey due to being hampered by a crash with approximately four kilometres to go, HTC-Highroad rider Matt Goss has promised to fight on and to do what he can to return to the top of the general classification in the Santos Tour Down Under.

The Australian rider finished back in 47th place on today’s second stage, crossing the line in the same time as winner Ben Swift (Team Sky) but missing out on the time bonuses. As a result he couldn’t prevent second-placed Robbie McEwen from taking over at the top.

He, McEwen and Swift are all now on the same time, with only points separating them. Goss is intent on battling onwards and believes he has the form to challenge.

“I felt good…I felt today was disappointing, the team rode all day and we crashed at the finish,” he told reporters after t the finish. “You know, I still feel good, I still feel like I can do a good result here in the overall. It’s only one day we lost a bit of time, but I think also Greipel lost time, or didn’t get the time bonus. It’s still an even playing field, it’s just like day one again.”

Goss has shown excellent form thus far, winning both Sunday’s Adelaide Cancer Council Classic and also netting yesterday’s opening stage of the race (pictured). With his current sprinting speed plus the practised team-work of HTC-Highroad, he should once again have been in the fight for the stage win, but lost out when a big pileup occurred on a right hand bend.

“They were on our right hand side, we were on the inside,” he said of the jostling with Swift’s Sky team immediately before the crash. “You know, it was nothing. It was just a bit of a racing thing…you just bump handle bars and someone goes down. It’s nothing deliberate or anything like that.”

Fortunately he wasn’t badly affected by the fall and was able to return to the peloton before the end. “I wasn’t affected much, it was just a bit of skin off my back and shoulders. Everything will be fine,” he stated.

“I got back into the bunch with around 3km to go, I tried to move up to try to do the sprint again, because I still felt okay, but there were still two more crashes in the last three kilometres,. So it was probably lucky that I didn’t get back to the front, as there was another massive crash near the finish.”

Brown also fired up to shine in the days ahead:

Fellow Australian Graeme Brown also ended the day disappointed, with his reason being that he went so close to victory. He was third over the finish line and was left wondering what he could have done differently.

“I felt really good today so I’m a little bit disappointed. I hesitated a bit in the final 200 metres,” he explained. “I dunno, its been a while since I’ve been at the pointy head of a sprint, so I made a little bit of a mistake. But Swift was the strongest today.”

Brown went close to being involved in the various crashes but managed to stay out of trouble. He evaded one by taking evasive action and going off the road. Fortunately he was able to get back to the main bunch and fight it out for the win. While things didn’t work out today, he feels that his form is improving and he could well get his chance again this week.

“I feel really good. Today I felt really good all day,” he enthused. “I felt better than yesterday actually, so, I’m pretty happy.”

Brown’s last big win was a stage of the Tour of Austria in July. If he can pick up a victory this week, it will start his season off on a strong note and motivate him to race hard in the months to come.

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