ORICA-GreenEDGE started the fourth stage of the Santos Tour Down Under fully committed to supporting Matt Goss in the anticipated bunch sprint in Tanunda. Unfortunately, a crash-filled finale cost Goss the opportunity to contest the finish. Goss, Daryl Impey and Jens Mouris, were three of the six riders involved in the second of two crashes inside the final ten kilometres.
“Sprinting is a dangerous game,” said Sport Director Matt Wilson. “Luckily, all of riders were able to finish the stage. Goss and Mouris will start tomorrow. Daryl needs further examination before we determine if he can safely continue.
“Apart from the obvious sting of missing skin, Goss is just disappointed and angry to miss out,” Wilson added. “He had been feeling good, and the guys were really motivated to get it right at the finish today.”
It was a straightforward stage ahead of the finale with a two rider break going clear from kilometre zero. World Champion Philippe Gilbert (BMC) traded pulls with Damien Howson (UniSA) until they were caught eight kilometres from the finish.
“The stage was pretty basic,” said Wilson. “There’s not much to talk about there. As we came into the sprint, the boys set it up. They were on track to do well. Impey, Goss and Mouris were all together in the last kilometre.”
With less than 800 metres left to race, a Blanco rider was thrown over his handlebars. Impey, Goss and Mouris were unable to avoid him.
“I didn’t see the finish,” admitted Wilson. “It know it was a technical, so that made things a more dangerous.”
The trio were able to pick themselves off the ground and roll across the line. Goss and Mouris are confirmed starters for stage five. Impey is still awaiting clearance.
“We’re hoping our crashed riders will feel relatively okay on stage five,” Wilson said. “They’ll need to get through tomorrow to have another shot at the sprint on Sunday.”