Milan-San Remo never had one in 100 years, but now it has two Australian winners: Matt Goss and Simon Gerrans. Gerrans repeated Goss’ success today in the Italian classic and gave team GreenEdge its first big classic win.
“It’s Absolutely incredible,” Goss told Cycling Weekly of his team-mate’s win. “Another Australian win, an important one for GreenEdge.”
Gerrans followed with Fabian Cancellara (RadioShack-Nissan) after Vincenzo Nibali (Liquigas-Cannondale) launched an attack on the final Poggio climb. In the final 6.2 kilometres, he stuck to the wheels of cycling’s most renowned descenders and positioned himself for the sprint along seaside.
It was touch and go because the trio only had seven seconds ahead of the final kilometre. Gerrans calculated his move, just as he calculated the stages leading to his Tour Down Under overall win in January.
Goss placed 15th. Last year, he sprinted to win out of a group that worked its way free on the Le Mànie climb with just under 100 kilometres to race.
Once Mark Cavendish (Sky) was dropped – 2-30 minutes back at 40km to race – GreenEdge worked its plan. Goss would stay in the group to sprint and Gerrans would cover attacks.
Gerrans’ win gives GreenEdge its first big classic, one of cycling’s five monuments. He also led the team in January. It faced criticism early in the Tour Down Under, but Gerrans finished second and took the lead on the Willunga Hill stage. He clinched the overall the following day.
GreenEdge debut marks Australia’s first team to race in cycling’s top division.
“No,” sports director Matt White responded when asked if he could have asked for a better start. “Winning Tour Down Under at home and Milan-San Remo, what more could you want?”