Matt Goss went from being Mark Cavendish’s helper to full-on team leader, hammering home his point with a stage win the Giro d’Italia on Monday. In the process, he gave new Aussie team, Orica-GreenEdge its first Grand Tour win.
“As I said before, there’s not too many full on big bunch sprints I’ve won, most I’ve won in small select groups,” Goss said to huddled press at the end of stage three in Horsens, Denmark. “I’ve done it one time now, I don’t see any reason why I can’t win bunch sprints more often. I’m definitely going to try. It’s my job to try.”
The Australian joined Cavendish at HTC-Highroad in 2010, helped lead out and also won a few races, including Milan-San Remo last year . They went their separate ways at the end of last year when the team disbanded. Along with Simon Gerrans, Goss was selected to lead Australia’s first top division team.
The two have given their team a successful start. Gerrans won the first WorldTour race in January on home soil at the Tour Down Under. He also took Milan-San Remo thanks to an attack on the Poggio climb. Goss helped the team win the Tirreno team time trial and on Monday, the team’s first Grand Tour stage.
The wins were exactly what the team had planned: stage wins, classification in small tours and one-day races.
“We’ve come in with our goals, our goals were to come in with Down Under, the jersey in Tirreno, be competitive in the classics and try to get stage wins in the Grand Tours. We’ve ticked every box so far, there’s not been one thing that we said that we wanted to do that we haven’t yet,” Goss added.
“I think it’s that the team’s gelling well together, everyone likes riding together. There’s no one that doesn’t want to put himself on the line to help the team win, that’s why we’ve been so successful.”
Goss had the help of Fumiyuki Beppu, Brett Lancaster and Daryl Impey for the sprint. They tried to help him in the Tour of Turkey, where Goss placed second five times.
The victory comes on the heels of team owner, Gerry Ryan announcing Orica as the title sponsor. He began last year, helping the team work towards its debut this January with team manager, Shayne Bannan. Goss helped do the rest and underlined his star status after leaving Cavendish’s side.
“We can really be happy with the start we had in our first Grand Tour,” Goss said. “We got our first stage win in three days.”
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