Goss gallops to Milan-Sanremo victory, beating Cancellara and Gilbert
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Saturday, March 19, 2011

Goss gallops to Milan-Sanremo victory, beating Cancellara and Gilbert

by Shane Stokes at 12:29 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Spring Classics, Race Reports and Results, Milan-Sanremo
Many pre-race favourites delayed by a crash

Matt GossAustralian sprinter Matt Goss started Milan-Sanremo as the HTC Highroad team’s Plan B behind Mark Cavendish, but he proved that he deserves top billing when he thundered to an impressive victory this afternoon. The 24 year old made it over the Poggio in a group ten seconds behind lone leader Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team), bided his time after the Belgian was brought back, and then kicked hard inside the final 200 metres to snatch his biggest win to date.

The 2008 victor Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek) sprinted in second, a bike length ahead of the disappointed pre-race favourite Philippe Gilbert. The Omega Pharma Lotto rider was clearly one of the strongest in the race, but his all-out attack two kilometres from the finish line was foiled when Filippo Pozzato (Team Katusha) dragged the rest of the break up to him.

Gilbert positioned himself on the wheel of Michele Scarponi when the Lampre-ISD rider jumped first in the sprint, but Goss drew alongside and then powered clear easily.

2008 world road race champion Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing Team) and Pozzato were fourth and fifth, being the best-placed Italians in their spring Classic.

“I knew I'd been going well, I knew I could get a good result, but actually to get the win is incredible,” Goss said. “I knew Gilbert was dangerous and would try for an attack on the Poggio, so I rode across to that front group just as we reached the top, and once I was with them I knew I was in with a chance."

“It was an advantage knowing the route. I live nearby and I've trained over the Poggio a few times in the last few days just to check it again. The descent was fast, but it wasn't too tricky because fortunately it wasn't wet, and with 500 meters to go I just gave it everything I had and hoped for the best.”

Cancellara went close to repeating his victory of 2008, but came up against a very fast rider. “I was here to win,” he said. “The team rode really well, and I tried to finish that off, but I didn't succeed. I even tried go go alone but eveyone was on my wheel. In the end, I did one of the best sprints of my life but Goss was unbeatable.”

Early break, then unexpected split:

The first big attack went fifteen kilometres into the race when Alessandro De Marchi (Androni-Giocattoli), Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha), Nico Sijmens (Cofidis) and Takashi Miyazawa (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) clipped away.

Japanese champion Miyazawa was particularly motivated, having led the minute’s silence held this morning for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in his country. He was visibly moved during the brief ceremony, looking emotional as he waited at the start line with the Japanese flag draped over his handlebars.

Once the racing got underway, he channelled that feeling into going clear and putting on a big display for his country.

The break covered 47 kilometres in the first hour and clocked up a lead of over ten minutes. This continued to grow and went up to a maximum of fourteen minutes. However it had dropped back to six minutes after 150 kilometres of racing.

The quartet up front realised that it was not going to be their day, but they remained committed as their presence in the break meant that their teams didn’t have to do any work behind.

The peloton raced on towards the climb of La Manie, driven along by the Garmin-Cervélo, Sky Procycling and Rabobank teams, but in the jostling for positions several went down. These fallers included world road race champion Thor Hushovd and while the acceleration in the bunch brought the break’s lead down to under two minutes, the Norwegian found himself off the back and chasing hard.

Oscar FreireFabian Cancellara’s Leopard Trek team decided to try to profit from his misfortune and drove the pace along. Quick Step rider Sylvain Chavanel also crashed and lost time. Once over the top and on the descent, last year’s winner Oscar Freire (Rabobank) also came a cropper, losing it on a sweeping right hand bend. He didn’t appear to be badly injured, but his bike was damaged and he was delayed for quite some time.

“The rain started falling and I fell,” he said afterwards. “Things went a very different way than I had wanted.”

Inside the final 80 kilometres, his team car finally made it up to him and helped him get sorted out. However his chase back was frustrated by a huge crash ahead, which split the bunch and put many key riders on the defensive. 2009 champion Mark Cavendish (HTC Highroad) was delayed, as was Hushovd’s team-mate Tyler Farrar, Hushovd, Italian champion Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) and many others. They were two minutes back at the town of Laigueglia, while up front the break had been hauled back. This resulted in a lead group of 44 riders.

With 30 kilometres to go, the gap between the two bunches was one minute ten seconds. Philippe Gilbert was one of those in the group ahead, as was his team-mate Andre Greipel, Cancellara, Goss, Pozzato, Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing Team), Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale), Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky), Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervélo), Tom Boonen (Quick Step) and others.

Those behind were chasing hard but while the gap dropped to just over a minute on the Capo Berta climb, attacks by Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas-Canondale) and then Alessandro Ballan on the Cipressa drove the pace up again. Behind, Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) put in a huge attack near the top of the climb and rocketed clear, the Italian making a bid to close the gap to the front group by himself. Yaroslav Popovych (RadioShack) tried a similar move afterwards, but he was hauled back several kilometres later. Scarponi persisted and drew closer to those ahead.

Dramatic finale:

Up front, Steve Chainel (FDJ) clipped away on the descent of the Cipressa, and was soon joined by his team-mate Yoann Offredo, Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) and Stuart O’Grady (Leopard Trek). They opened a decent lead, while behind, 15 kilometres from the finish, Scarponi managed to get across to the Gilbert-Cancellara group.

With ten kilometres left, the four leaders had a solid 28 second lead over the chasers, while the Cavendish/Farrar/Hushovd group was well out of the running. Once onto the Poggio, the break remained together for a kilometre or so, then Van Avermaet launched a big move with 8.6km to go. Chainel blew completely, while Offredo and O’Grady chased in vain.

“George [Hincapie] told me to go between the Cipressa and the Poggio so I did and quickly got a gap,” he explained afterwards. “It was good for me because I could ride my own pace on the Poggio.”

Fabian Cancellara Matt GossThe chase group hit the slopes and recognised that there was a danger that Van Avermaet could push home his advantage. Nibali launched a move but was covered by Gilbert and others; the latter then tried his own surge, but he was very closely marked.

Nibali tried again near the top and got a gap while the other favourites looked at each other. He caught and dropped Chainel, then bridged across to Offredo and O’Grady with 6.5 kilometres left. However Cancellara, Gerdemann and several of the others latched onto the back of this group just going over the top, and then continued to reduce Van Avermaet’s lead on the descent. The Belgian was finally caught 2.5 kilomeres from the line.

A persistent Offredo tried again; he was brought back by Cancellara, who tried to clip clear. However he was marked by Goss, and the move went nowhere. Gilbert then put in a big dig with two kilometres left, causing Pozzato to chase and to ultimately catch him just over a kilometre from the line. It was a clear case of one rider marking another out of contention, while also ensuring that he couldn't win either. Niballi then clipped away under the kite, but he too was reeled in. It meant a sprint was inevitable, and Goss was quickest of the eight in the dash for the line, comfortably taking his biggest win and netting HTC Highroad’s second victory in three years at La Primavera.

As was stated in VeloNation’s Matt Goss interview in the days leading up to the race, his strong form this season was enough to put him into the front group. It was even better than that, though, as he proved quickest of all and became the first Australian winner of the prestigious Classic.

“It's been absolutely incredible,” he smiled, gradually realising what he had done. “I couldn't have dreamed up a better start to the year.”


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2011 Milan-Sanremo results (World Tour, 19 March, 298km):

  Click on the arrowsat the top of the column to sort the race results.
Country Result Name Team Time
aus AUS 1 Matthew Goss (HTC-Highroad) 06:51:10
sui SUI 2 Fabian Cancellara (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
bel BEL 3 Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
ita ITA 4 Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing) s.t.
ita ITA 5 Filippo Pozzato (Katusha) s.t.
ita ITA 6 Michele Scarponi (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
fra FRA 7 Yoann Offredo (FDJ) s.t.
ita ITA 8 Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) 00:00:03
bel BEL 9 Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing) 00:00:10
aus AUS 10 Stuart Ogrady (Leopard-Trek) 00:00:12
esp ESP 11 Francisco Jose Ventoso Alberdi (Movistar) 00:00:27
ita ITA 12 Alessandro Petacchi (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
ita ITA 13 Daniele Bennati (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
esp ESP 14 Jose Joaquin Rojas Gil (Movistar) s.t.
ita ITA 15 Marco Marcato (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
can CAN 16 Dominique Rollin (FDJ) s.t.
svk SVK 17 Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
aus AUS 18 Heinrich Haussler (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
ita ITA 19 Alessandro Bertolini (Androni Giocattoli) s.t.
fra FRA 20 Sylvain Chavanel (Quick Step) s.t.
ita ITA 21 Matteo Tosatto (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
usa USA 22 George Hincapie (BMC Racing) s.t.
ukr UKR 23 Yaroslav Popovych (RadioShack) s.t.
ita ITA 24 Francesco Failli (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) s.t.
ger GER 25 Linus Gerdemann (Leopard-Trek) 00:00:32
esp ESP 26 Pablo Lastras Garcia (Movistar) 00:00:33
rus RUS 27 Vladimir Gusev (Katusha) 00:01:06
bel BEL 28 Tom Boonen (Quick Step) 00:01:12
ita ITA 29 Sacha Modolo (Colnago-CSF Inox) s.t.
nor NOR 30 Edvald Boasson Hagen (Team Sky) 00:01:44
fra FRA 31 Steve Chainel (FDJ) 00:01:47
esp ESP 32 Egoi Martinez De Esteban (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 00:01:55
ger GER 33 Andre Greipel (Omega Pharma-Lotto) 00:03:59
bel BEL 34 Jürgen Roelandts (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
ger GER 35 Andreas Klier (Garmin-Cervelo) 00:05:14
aus AUS 36 Robbie Mcewen (RadioShack) 00:05:23
lat LAT 37 Aleksejs Saramotins (Cofidis) s.t.
ned NED 38 Niki Terpstra (Quick Step) s.t.
col COL 39 Leonardo Fabio Duque (Cofidis) s.t.
blr BLR 40 Yauheni Hutarovich (FDJ) s.t.
fra FRA 41 Lloyd Mondory (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
fra FRA 42 Romain Feillu (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
ger GER 43 Fabian Wegmann (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
gbr GBR 44 Bradley Wiggins (Team Sky) s.t.
ltu LTU 45 Ignatas Konovalovas (Movistar) s.t.
usa USA 46 Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
aut AUT 47 Bernhard Eisel (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
ger GER 48 Marcus Burghardt (BMC Racing) s.t.
fra FRA 49 Geoffroy Lequatre (RadioShack) s.t.
ita ITA 50 Mauro Finetto (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
rus RUS 51 Alexandr Kolobnev (Katusha) s.t.
gbr GBR 52 Mark Cavendish (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
aus AUS 53 Baden Cooke (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
slo SLO 54 Grega Bole (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
ita ITA 55 Manuel Belletti (Colnago-CSF Inox) s.t.
ger GER 56 Danilo Hondo (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
esp ESP 57 Juan Jose Oroz Ugalde (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
ita ITA 58 Marco Frapporti (Colnago-CSF Inox) s.t.
den DEN 59 Lars Ytting Bak (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
gbr GBR 60 Geraint Thomas (Team Sky) s.t.
fra FRA 61 Matthieu Ladagnous (FDJ) s.t.
ita ITA 62 Massimo Codol (Acqua & Sapone) s.t.
ita ITA 63 Damiano Caruso (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
ned NED 64 Karsten Kroon (BMC Racing) s.t.
sui SUI 65 Danilo Wyss (BMC Racing) s.t.
aus AUS 66 Simon Clarke (Astana) s.t.
ita ITA 67 Danilo Napolitano (Acqua & Sapone) s.t.
esp ESP 68 David Gutierrez Gutierrez (Geox-TMC) s.t.
ita ITA 69 Valerio Agnoli (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
bel BEL 70 Nick Nuyens (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
ita ITA 71 Tiziano Dallantonia (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
ita ITA 72 Manuele Mori (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
den DEN 73 Anders Lund (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
ita ITA 74 Marzio Bruseghin (Movistar) s.t.
bel BEL 75 Thomas De Gendt (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
esp ESP 76 Juan Antonio Flecha Giannoni (Team Sky) s.t.
bel BEL 77 Björn Leukemans (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
bel BEL 78 Gianni Meersman (FDJ) s.t.
esp ESP 79 Arkaitz Duran Aroca (Geox-TMC) s.t.
fra FRA 80 Benoît Vaugrenard (FDJ) s.t.
aus AUS 81 Adam Hansen (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
ita ITA 82 Giovanni Visconti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) s.t.
aus AUS 83 Michael Rogers (Team Sky) s.t.
fra FRA 84 Jérôme Pineau (Quick Step) s.t.
fin FIN 85 Jussi Veikkanen (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
swe SWE 86 Thomas Löfkvist (Team Sky) s.t.
esp ESP 87 Angel Vicioso Arcos (Androni Giocattoli) s.t.
esp ESP 88 Angel Madrazo Ruiz (Movistar) s.t.
ita ITA 89 Francesco Reda (Quick Step) s.t.
ita ITA 90 Enrico Gasparotto (Astana) s.t.
ukr UKR 91 Andriy Grivko (Astana) s.t.
ita ITA 92 Roberto Ferrari (Androni Giocattoli) s.t.
ita ITA 93 Simone Stortoni (Colnago-CSF Inox) s.t.
esp ESP 94 Oscar Freire Gomez (Rabobank) s.t.
ita ITA 95 Rinaldo Nocentini (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
kaz KAZ 96 Dmitriy Muravyev (RadioShack) s.t.
ita ITA 97 Alberto Ongarato (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
ger GER 98 Robert Wagner (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
aus AUS 99 Matthew Wilson (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
ned NED 100 Sebastian Langeveld (Rabobank) 00:05:30
ita ITA 101 Domenico Pozzovivo (Colnago-CSF Inox) s.t.
gbr GBR 102 Ian Stannard (Team Sky) 00:06:10
bel BEL 103 Maarten Wynants (Rabobank) s.t.
sui SUI 104 Michael Schär (BMC Racing) s.t.
ita ITA 105 Ivan Santaromita (BMC Racing) s.t.
ita ITA 106 Luca Barla (Androni Giocattoli) s.t.
aus AUS 107 Michael Matthews (Rabobank) 00:08:29
esp ESP 108 Vicente Reynes Mimo (Omega Pharma-Lotto) 00:09:32
sui SUI 109 Michael Albasini (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
ger GER 110 Marcel Sieberg (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
sui SUI 111 Grégory Rast (RadioShack) s.t.
ned NED 112 Lars Boom (Rabobank) s.t.
aus AUS 113 Mark Renshaw (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
ita ITA 114 Mirco Lorenzetto (Astana) s.t.
kaz KAZ 115 Assan Bazayev (Astana) s.t.
ita ITA 116 Davide Malacarne (Quick Step) s.t.
fra FRA 117 William Bonnet (FDJ) s.t.
fra FRA 118 Blel Kadri (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
ita ITA 119 Mirko Selvaggi (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
slo SLO 120 Borut Bozic (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
ita ITA 121 Alessandro Donati (Acqua & Sapone) s.t.
ita ITA 122 Luca Paolini (Katusha) s.t.
bel BEL 123 Johan Vansummeren (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
bel BEL 124 Leif Hoste (Katusha) s.t.
ita ITA 125 Stefano Pirazzi (Colnago-CSF Inox) s.t.
nor NOR 126 Kurt Asle Arvesen (Team Sky) s.t.
nor NOR 127 Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
arg ARG 128 Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
ita ITA 129 Alessandro De Marchi (Androni Giocattoli) 00:09:38
esp ESP 130 Ivan Velasco Murillo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) 00:15:51
esp ESP 131 Jonathan Castroviejo Nicolas (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
esp ESP 132 Amets Txurruka Ansola (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
bel BEL 133 Romain Zingle (Cofidis) s.t.
jpn JPN 134 Takashi Miyazawa (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) s.t.
crc CRC 135 Andrey Amador Bikkazakova (Movistar) s.t.
bel BEL 136 Kevyn Ista (Cofidis) s.t.
bel BEL 137 Kevin Van Impe (Quick Step) s.t.
ned NED 138 Maarten Tjallingii (Rabobank) 00:18:25
ned NED 139 Jens Mouris (Vacansoleil-DCM) s.t.
ita ITA 140 Diego Ulissi (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
ltu LTU 141 Tomas Vaitkus (Astana) s.t.
swe SWE 142 Gustav Erik Larsson (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
fra FRA 143 Yuriy Krivtsov (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
ned NED 144 Tom Leezer (Rabobank) s.t.
ita ITA 145 Daniele Ratto (Geox-TMC) s.t.
aus AUS 146 Allan Davis (Astana) s.t.
gbr GBR 147 Roger Hammond (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
fra FRA 148 Sébastien Hinault (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
bel BEL 149 Wouter Weylandt (Leopard-Trek) s.t.
bel BEL 150 Nico Sijmens (Cofidis) s.t.
bel BEL 151 Jens Keukeleire (Cofidis) s.t.
esp ESP 152 Francisco Javier Aramendia Llorente (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
esp ESP 153 Daniel Sesma Sorbet (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
den DEN 154 Michael Morkov Christensen (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
fra FRA 155 Anthony Ravard (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
den DEN 156 Kasper Klostergaard Larsen (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Alan Marangoni (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
blr BLR DNF Aleksandr Kuschynski (Katusha) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Andrea Noe (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Andrea Pasqualon (Colnago-CSF Inox) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Antonio Santoro (Androni Giocattoli) s.t.
ger GER DNF Bert Grabsch (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Claudio Corioni (Acqua & Sapone) s.t.
esp ESP DNF David Blanco Rodriguez (Geox-TMC) s.t.
aus AUS DNF David Tanner (Saxo Bank-Sungard) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Davide Ricci Bitti (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Diego Caccia (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Fabio Felline (Geox-TMC) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Fabio Taborre (Acqua & Sapone) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Francesco Gavazzi (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Giairo Ermeti (Androni Giocattoli) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Gianluca Brambilla (Colnago-CSF Inox) s.t.
esp ESP DNF Ion Izagirre Insausti (Euskaltel-Euskadi) s.t.
slo SLO DNF Kristjan Koren (Liquigas-Cannondale) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Leonardo Giordani (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Luca Solari (Androni Giocattoli) s.t.
por POR DNF Manuel Antonio Leal Cardoso (RadioShack) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Marco Bandiera (Quick Step) s.t.
slo SLO DNF Marko Kump (Geox-TMC) s.t.
sui SUI DNF Martin Elmiger (Ag2r-La Mondiale) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Matteo Bono (Lampre-ISD) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Matteo Pelucchi (Geox-TMC) s.t.
aut AUT DNF Matthias Brändle (Geox-TMC) s.t.
kaz KAZ DNF Maxim Iglinskiy (Astana) s.t.
rus RUS DNF Mikhail Ignatiev (Katusha) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Oscar Gatto (Farnese Vini-Neri Sottoli) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Paolo Ciavatta (Acqua & Sapone) s.t.
svk SVK DNF Peter Velits (HTC-Highroad) s.t.
ltu LTU DNF Ramunas Navardauskas (Garmin-Cervelo) s.t.
ned NED DNF Rick Flens (Rabobank) s.t.
rsa RSA DNF Robert Hunter (RadioShack) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Ruggero Marzoli (Acqua & Sapone) s.t.
ger GER DNF Sebastian Lang (Omega Pharma-Lotto) s.t.
bel BEL DNF Sébastien Rosseler (RadioShack) s.t.
ita ITA DNF Simone Masciarelli (Acqua & Sapone) s.t.
fra FRA DNF Tristan Valentin (Cofidis) s.t.
blr BLR DNF Vasil Kiryienka (Movistar) s.t.
rus RUS DNF Vladimir Isaychev (Katusha) s.t.

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