Matt Goss capped off a big day for Orica-GreenEdge today in Tirreno-Adriatico. His sprint win in Indicatore, Italy, followed only 15 minutes after Michael Albasini won a mountain stage in Paris-Nice.
“It’s a great day for the team and for myself,” Goss said in a post-race press conference.
The wins mark a big start for the Aussie team in its second year. Besides not taking a stage win in the Tour de France last year, it could not be going any better.
Goss, in fact, helped the team through the early moments of last year. He followed up Simon Gerrans’ overall win in the Tour Down Under by leading GreenEdge (the team had still yet to welcome Orica as a sponsor) to a win in the Tirreno team time.
They practiced intently for the stage last year and won over RadioShack with Fabian Cancellara. This year, the intention was once again there, but they finished only sixth.
“We wanted to do a better TT yesterday,” Goss added, “but to now get my first road win of the season, I’m happy the way things are going.”
In the closing circuits around Indicatore near Arezzo, the rain intensified. Organisers considered cutting the circuits, but let the riders continue the planned 232km.
Orica-GreenEdge was not visually present in the downpour. Mark Cavendish’s Omega Pharma-QuickStep train led to protect his leader’s jersey and to deliver him to the sprint. Cannondale was at the front for Sagan. Lotto-Belisol also took charge for André Greipel.
Goss only showed himself when it counted, in the final metres.
“We had a plan, we thought the good spot to be at the front was at 1.5 to 2K to go,” Goss said.
“I was up there, but still it was too far to go. I saw Peter Sagan go, when he went, I knew he was not going to make it to the finish line, and I timed my sprint off of his.”
Mark Cavendish explained he was upset with his team’s lead-out, but added that it should not take away from Goss’ win.
“He’s a really good sprinter,” Cavendish said. “It’d be better if GreenEdge showed more faith in him.”
Goss responded that he was happy with the team’s faith. He said that it is taking time for the young team to get its machinery working perfectly.
“Like in any new team, it takes a lot of time to build that confidence,” Goss added.
“Look at Lotto; in their first year out [with Greipel] they didn’t win that much as they are this year. It’s a 12-18 month process, when you start from scratch it’s a little more difficult. When you get there, though, the rewards are much nicer.”