In His Own Words: Matt Goss on Tour of Oman Stage 6Sun 17 Feb 2013
Matt Goss closed out the Tour of Oman with a second place finish in the frenzied field sprint on the Matrah Corniche. The runner-up narrowly missed out on the win to Nacer Bouhanni (FDJ). Having finished on the second step of the stage podium three times this season, Goss remains confident that a win is on the horizon. In his own words, he tells you about his day.
The race started at a fairly remote park. The peloton took off at a fast pace compared to the other stages. A three rider breakaway formed after the short neutral section. Team Sky seemed content with the composition of the group, so they allowed them a decent advantage as they took control of setting tempo at the front.
The three riders gained something like six or seven minutes before the feed zone. Following feeding, Team Sky started to bring them back. As the kilometres ticked down, the gap crept down, too. They had a bit more than a minute on us when we hit the finish circuit.
The circuit laps were around this seaside area of the Muscat called the Matrah Cornice. More fans turned up today than any other stage. It was great to see people lining the course. We were tasked with just over two laps around the circuit, and we saw the finish line twice before the final sprint.
The circuit was technical, and it included a little climb up that back that made it harder for the pure sprinters. A few guys got dropped by the high pace first Argos-Shimano and then Team Sky set at the front of the race.
ORICA-GreenEDGE rode a solid race. We were together, and we came towards the front at the right time. In the last kilometre, Daryl [Impey] and I were in a good position. He had to bring me up on the left. We would have preferred to move up on the right as there was less wind. We mistakenly left the door open for Bouhanni to come around us before the finish line – which he did. He took the win, and I notched another second place.
Daryl managed sixth place after leading me out to give the team two guys in the top ten on the stage. He had a really good week here and finished 11th place overall after some impressive climbing during previous stages.
We were gunning for the win today. It would have been a nice present to go home with after the week for racing. Instead, we had to settle for second. Chris Froome (Team Sky) won the red leader’s jersey. His teammates did a fantastic job controlling today. Hats off to them for their efforts.
I had a few issues earlier this week, so while I was a bit disappointed to get second, I was happy to see that I finally came around. I traveled from Australia to Europe only ten days before I travelled from Monoco to Oman. I think I was suffering quite a bit from the time change, the temperature change and all the travel. It took me awhile to settle into the race. I’ve felt a lot better over the last couple days.
It’s good to know that the shape is there. The team is going well and the racing that’s coming next suits me better. I’m already looking forward to Tirreno and getting a win on board.