Cavendish's win in the Tour of California
on Sunday put extra pressure on his HTC-Columbia team-mates to win at the Giro d'Italia, according Matthew Goss. But Goss, normally in charge of leading out André Greipel, responded with a win in Cava de' Terreni today.
"We kind of had a little bit of pressure, we are in the second week now and we still have not won anything," Goss explained. "It was great to see Cavendish get up there. His win was positive for us."
Greipel took on the post as the Giro d'Italia sprint leader when HTC-Columbia decided Cavendish would race the Tour of California. He hopes to have his chance to confirm his status as a Grand Tour sprinter and gain a point in his inter-team duel with Cavendish.
He failed to do so in his first two chances in The Netherlands, but he had his chance today. HTC-Columbia led the race in the final kilometres and its force even split the field with 15 kilometres to race. Goss, not seeing Greipel immediately, decided to take his chances at a Grand Tour win.
"I was trying to help André, but he was not in the front. He came back, though, and I looked after him. I thought, 'if he is on my wheel, he will come off me, and if not the opportunity is there for me.'"
Goss took advantage of his opportunity, sprinting over Filippo Pozzato and Tyler Farrar.
He does not want to compete for space with Cavendish in the team; instead, he wants to continue leading him out and hopes to do so at the Tour de France.
"Days like today suit me, but I don't think I am a pure sprinter. I can't come to the line with Mark Cavendish or Thor Hushovd."
Greipel is a pure sprinter. He will put even more pressure on himself to win now that both Goss and Cavendish have won in the space of 24 hours. He will have a few more chances in the coming days, before the Giro d'Italia reaches the high mountains of its third week
Goss sprints to Giro stage nine victory
Cavendish gets off to winning start in California
Giro d'Italia 2010: Cycling Weekly's coverage index
2010 Giro d'Italia coverage in association with Zipvit
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