Matt Goss will close Tirreno-Adriatico without a sprint win, but he is not leaving the Italian stage race empty handed. He has the condition needed to defend his Milan-San Remo title next Saturday.
“His condition is good,” GreenEdge’s sports director, Matt White told Cycling Weekly. “He’s in a good place for San Remo.”
The Tasmanian cyclist joined GreenEdge over the winter as one of the stars to lead the team into its debut season. After years of gradually improving, last year he won Milano-San Remo. He had made his way into a mega-escape and survived the Cipressa and Poggio climbs as the best sprinter.
Goss is a tough sprinter, more like Edvald Boasson Hagen than former HTC team-mate Mark Cavendish. The two Sky riders won the last two days in Tirreno-Adriatico while Goss is quietly building his form for next Saturday. Since the race start and GreenEdge’s team time trial victory, he has held the race leader’s blue jersey and spent most of his day behind the GreenEdge train.
“I would’ve liked to have a bit more of a test run, yesterday as well,” Goss explained today after the stage to Terni in central Italy. “I felt good, which is more important for San Remo because generally, there are not so many guys at the finish of that race.
“I’m confident I’m in the shape I need to be in for San Remo.”
GreenEdge races the seven-day stage race with Goss, Stuart O’Grady, Sebastian Langeveld, Jens Mouris, Baden Cooke, Tomas Vaitkus, Svein Tuft and Cameron Meyer. In the coming days, White will select which of these men will go on to race San Remo. The remaining riders will come from the Paris-Nice team.
“About five guys will come from here, the rest from Paris-Nice,” White explained. “I’m pretty sure Langeveld, O’Grady and Gerrans will pass the Cipressa. Not a problem.”
“The team here in Tirreno is strong, a team that will race a lot of the classics,” Goss added. “If it does get lit up on the Cipressa or the Poggio, we have Simon Germans to follow. If there’s a small bunch sprint, I can be there to try to get the result. We have guys who’ve finished second, third, fourth and fifth over the previous years.”
Goss finished first last year. For his win, he will be honoured with the number one back number and loads of pressure, the kind normally only reserved for World Champion Cavendish.