Matthew Goss is training for the Tour de France this month at the Giro d'Italia. He is gaining experience not only in the sprints, like today's in Montecatini Terme, but in leading a team.
"He's going quite well here," Orica-GreenEdge sports director, Matt White told Cycling Weekly this morning. "He's had days where he's had to lead and he's delivered for HTC. I'm happy with what he's doing here in the Giro."
Team mechanics and staff walked around the bus, preparing bikes and equipment for the Australian team ahead of the 11th leg.
Insiders have noted that the 25-year-old Tasmanian is stepping up to assume leadership. He contributes in the daily meetings on the bus and leads on the road.
Orica hired Goss to be one of its two leaders with Simon Gerrans. In the last years with HTC-Highroad, he won Milan-San Remo and a Giro d'Italia stage.
Now, he is leading a team in a Grand Tour for the first time. It's a relatively inexperienced team, which includes debut riders Jens Keukeleire and Daryl Impey, and Jack Bobridge starting his second Grand Tour. Experienced hands, Stuart O'Grady and Simon Gerrans will come in for the Tour de France.
Today, he sat up on a climb with 10 kilometres remaining, still suffering from a crash two days ago. Goss said, "I knew wasn't happy with the hill. I made the call half-way through the stage. I like to deliver, I wasn't 100 per cent sure I'd be at the finish. I felt like rubbish, it's the second day that's the worse."
The efforts are important for the Tour de France, where he'll race for sprint wins and the green points jersey.
"I don't want to give too much away," White said, looking around for listeners. "It's no secret to beat Mark Cavendish, you have to start sprinting in front of Mark Cavendish. It's as simple as that. He's been delivered so well in the past. When he starts his sprint, he's on the front, isn't he?"
White explained that the team's resources would put into only stage wins and then the green jersey. The overall classification, he said, is not a consideration.
"We'll have the resources at the Tour de France to put into the green jersey."
Giro d'Italia 2012: Latest news
Hesjedal happy with Giro performance despite losing lead
Pinotti alters Giro plans after losing time in mountains
Pozzato apologises for role in causing crash
Hesjedal has tough day as Giro leader
Schleck building form in Giro for final week in Alps
English speakers on top
Giro favourites to make move in first mountain finish
Malori will relish time in Giro lead
Sky's Giro team time trial disappointment
Phinney's terrible day sees Giro lead slip away
Teams ready for Giro's team time trial
Phinney given all-clear after Giro crash
Ferrari should be ashamed of Giro sprint, says Cavendish
Giro remembers Wouter Weylandt
Cavendish and Thomas a winning combo, says Brailsford
Geraint Thomas narrowly misses out on Giro lead
Phinney realises Giro dream
Giro d'Italia 2012: Live coverage
Giro d'Italia 2012 live text coverage schedule
Giro d'Italia 2012: Stage reports
Stage 11: Ferrari wins Giro stage on ride to redemption
Stage 10: Rodriguez wins thrilling finale to take leadStage nine: Ventoso wins in Frosinone as Goss and Cavendish fall
Stage eight: Pozzovivo takes another Giro win
Stage seven: Hesjedal moves into Giro lead
Stage six: Rubiano solos to epic Giro stage win
Stage five: Cavendish bounces back for another stage win
Stage four: Garmin-Barracuda win TTT to take lead
Stage three: Goss wins in Horsens as Cavendish and Phinney crash
Stage two: Cavendish wins in Herning
Stage one: Phinney wins time trial
Giro d'Italia 2012: Photo galleries
Stage 11 photo gallery
Stage 10 photo gallery
Stage nine photo gallery
Stage eight photo gallery
Stage seven photo gallery
Stage six photo gallery
Stage five photo gallery
Stage four photo gallery
Stage three photo gallery
Stage two photo gallery
Stage one photo gallery
Giro d'Italia 2012: Teams and riders
Giro d'Italia 2012 start list
Giro d'Italia 2012: TV guide
Giro d'Italia 2012: British Eurosport TV schedule
Giro d'Italia 2012: The Big Preview
Cycling Weekly's Giro d'Italia section
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