World championships: Goss takes long-term view after near miss
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Monday, September 26, 2011

World championships: Goss takes long-term view after near miss

by VeloNation Press at 5:56 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, World Championships
Australian will have more opportunities in years ahead

Mark CavendishTwo years younger than Mark Cavendish and just half a wheel behind him at the line, Matt Goss regrets missing out on the chance to become world champion, but also feels sure there will be more chances ahead.

“I have another ten or twelve world championships in me,” the Australian said after yesterday’s Elite road race. “This course suited me quite well but I can also get around a slightly harder course as well and sprint from a smaller group so I am going to have more chances.”

Goss has had his best season to date, winning Milan-San Remo, taking stages in Paris-Nice, the Tour of California, the Tour of Oman and the Santos Tour Down Under and netting second overall in the latter. Those results sharpened his focus, and made him believe he could take home the gold medal yesterday. He may be philosophical about not winning, but also regrets not doing so.

“I don't like being the bridesmaid! I would much rather be wearing that jersey,” the 24 year old said after the finish, making it clear that while he believes he will become world champion in the future that he would much rather have that accolade now. “I am disappointed I am not wearing that jersey (but) I am happy I have finished the season well.”

Goss was moving faster than Cavendish over the final 100 metres and had the line been even a few metres further away, he would have won. It’s probably fair to say that Cavendish’s instinct and timing secured him the gold medal, as the Australian appeared quicker but hesitated a fraction too long before starting his sprint.

“When he went, I kind of jumped on the wheel,” he said. “I knew it was still a long way to the finish line and I had in the back of my mind I could get back if everything went well, but in the end I ran out of metres,” he said.

“He did a perfect sprint. He was just starting to slow and I was finishing a bit faster but there's not a medal for that.”

One year ago Goss won the GP Ouest France. The race is held on a tough circuit in Brittany and his triumph there, along with his Milan-Sanremo win, shows that he is more than an out-and-out sprinter. That points towards a potential ability to chase more Classic victories, with the Tour of Flanders and Paris-Roubaix possible targets. He’ll try to win more editions of Milan-Sanremo too.

However with Goss being set to be the protected sprinter at GreenEdge, he’ll have a better chance to chase stage wins at the Tour. He was second behind Edvald Boasson Hagen at Lisieux this year, underlining his speed, but on the flatter stages of the race he dedicated himself to helping Cavendish take multiple stage wins plus the green jersey.

They will be on different teams next year and so, from that point on, the Cavendish/Goss head to head should be a much more regular sight.


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