Matt Goss claimed the Grand Prix Plouay for HTC-Columbia on Sunday, out-sprinting American Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Transitions) in the tough French one-day race.
Despite the newly-elongated 248km distance of the ProTour-level race, run on an undulating circuit in Brittany, the peloton stuck together for a bunch finish.
It was Goss’s HTC-Columbia team that – once again – drove the pace of the bunch to reel in an early eight-man breakaway. Goss then delivered a perfect sprint in the finale to pip Farrar and third-placed Yoann Offredo (Francaise des Jeux) to the line.
Goss adds his Plouay victory to wins at the 2010 Giro d’Italia, Tour of Denmark and Philadelphia International.
Britain’s Russell Downing (Team Sky) lost touch with the main group, coming home in 72nd position, 57 seconds adrift of Goss. Downing was Britain’s highest-placed rider: Daniel Lloyd (Cervelo), Steve Cummings (Sky) and Bradley Wiggins (Sky) all came in at one minute and 40 seconds.
Manxman Jonny Bellis (Saxo Bank) withdrew from the gruelling race, but his mere presence on the startline is proof that his astonishing recovery from a near-fatal scooter accident last year is continuing well.
Grand Prix Plouay 2010, France: 248.3km
1. Matt Goss (Aus) HTC-Columbia in 6-37-53
2. Tyler Farrar (USA) Garmin-Transitions
3. Yoann Offredo (Fra) Francaise des Jeux
4. Leonardo Fabio Duque (Col) Cofidis
5. Jose Rojas (Spa) Caisse d’Epargne
6. Mauro Santambrogio (Ita) BMC Racing Team
7. Peter Sagan (Svk) Liquigas-Doimo
8. Francesco Gavazzi (Ita) Lampre-Farnese Vini
9. Marco Marcato (Ita) Vacansoleil
10. Romain Feillu (Fra) Vacansoleil all same time
Matt Goss celebrates the win as Tyler Farrar (left) shows his disappointment with second
Emma Pooley wins GP Plouay for second year in a row