Matt Goss added another podium finish to his Tour de France stage result tally. The Tasmanian sprinted to second in Brive-la-Gaillarde to earn his fourth podium of the Tour. One last chance remains for the elusive stage win.
“Every time we want to win but miss out, we’re fired up to get it right the next time,” said Sports Director Matt White. “We know if we can deliver Gossy to the right place, he’s as fast as anyone. We’re looking forward to the Champs-Elysées on Sunday.”
The peloton covered the 222.5 kilometer stage at a blistering pace. Michael Albasini represented ORICA-GreenEDGE in the 16-rider move that took more than 70 kilometers to establish.
“We were very fortunate to have Alba in the break today,” said White. “It saved the guys a lot of work. It was perfect that Michael made sure he was in the move. It would have been a total disaster for us if we had missed out.”
The escape group gained a maximum advantage of 3:30. Although the riders collaborated well together initially, they began to attack one another between the final two categorized climbs.
Within the last 20 kilometers, the break had splintered and counter-attacks came from the peloton.
“It was a tricky finale,” noted White. “The break was only caught on the line. We had to use up Stuey [Stuart O’Grady] and Pieter [Weening] in the chase, and in the end, Gerro [Simon Gerrans] and Cookie [Baden Cooke] were needed, too. We were committed to bringing back the break.”
“It was a solid effort by the boys,” White added. “There was some confusion at the end with Lotto moving up, and Cav [Mark Cavendish] was definitely able to use that to his advantage. He got a jump on everybody before they had really wound up their sprint.”
The World Champion took the stage win ahead of Goss. Peter Sagan (Liquigas-Cannondale) rounded out the podium. Daryl Impey recorded another top ten finish, his fourth in his Tour debut, coming across the line in ninth place.
ORICA-GreenEDGE will enjoy a ‘half rest day’ tomorrow on the stage 19 time trial ahead of the final day of Tour de France racing in Paris on Sunday.