In His Own Words: Assistant Sport Director Julian Dean on Giro d'Italia Stage 13

Fri 17 May 2013

Brett Lancaster sprinted to fourth place in Cherasco, moving up one position over his fifth place showing yesterday. The Victorian has stepped up to contest the fast finishes at the Giro d’Italia this week as Matt Goss recovers from illness.

Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma- Quick-Step) delivered his fourth Giro d’Italia victory, beating Giacomo Nizzolo (RadioShack Leopard Trek) and Luka Mezgec (Argos-Shimano) to the line. Lancaster narrowly missed the stage podium, making up several spots in the closing 600 metres. In his own words, Assistant Sport Director Julian Dean describes the day.

We know you’re all asking about Gossy. He’s better than he was yesterday, so that’s encouraging. In case you missed our earlier announcement, Matt Goss is ill. He’s recovering as best as he can while racing, and we’re hoping a course of antibiotics and time will see him improve. He’s definitely disappointed with how he’s going, but there’s not much he can do about it at the moment. We’re staying positive and keeping on top of things as best we can.

With Gossy’s illness, we had an open approach to the start of the day. We didn’t want to rule out the possibility that we could contest the sprint with Goss, but we weren’t sure how he would feel – especially because the last 30 kilometres of this stage looked to be (and were) pretty difficult.

We gave everyone the option to go into the breakaway if they wanted, and several our riders did what they could to get up the road. It quickly became clear that Quick-Step and Cannondale were not going to let a break that contained one of us get away. They closed down every move that included one of our riders. They wanted us to help with the chase later in the race, and if we had someone in the break, we wouldn’t contribute. Eventually the peloton let a break go that didn’t have us in it.

We had Jens Mouris, Christian Meier and Luke Durbridge contribute to the chase work today. These are riders that are here specifically for that type of effort. As I already mentioned, we weren’t sure what to expect from Gossy, and if he was feeling good, we definitely wanted to give him a shot. It didn’t work out for him today, but it doesn’t mean we aren’t going to try to ride as if we can win it.

The break was brought back in the closing kilometres, and there were a lot of attacks as the peloton powered closer to the line. It was hectic in preparation for the sprint. Although Gossy wasn’t on top of his game today, we were able to put Brett up for the finish.

In the last kilometre, Pieter [Weening] and Jens [Keukeleire] did a good job bringing Brett into position. Brett said he got boxed in, but he pulled his way out with 600 metres to go and came around the long way to take fourth. It’s another good ride for Brett, and it’s a bit of a consolation for guys like Jens Mouris, Christian and Durbo who did awesome work on the front.

The next two stages head to the big mountains. We have a lot of guys who can sit back and try to recover this weekend – well, recover is the wrong word. They can take a bit of a mental break and save energy to focus on getting ready for the middle of next week when we’ll have more opportunities. We hope Gossy will come around, and there are few days were Pieter can take his chances as well. There’s still good stuff ahead for us, and we’ll do everything we can to be ready.