Matt Goss Second in First Tour de Suisse Field SprintTue 11 Jun 2013
Matt Goss sprinted to second in the first bunch sprint of the 2013 Tour de Suisse. Goss gained ground on Arnaud Démare (FJD) in the closing metres of stage four but was unable to overtake the Frenchman ahead of the line. Cameron Meyer finished on bunch time and remains in 11th place on the overall classification.
“It’s always disappointing not to win, especially when the guys did such a good job for me,” said Goss. “I’ve had a run of second place these last two years, and obviously a win is the goal. It would have been nice to knock out the win early this week, but I’m happy with my sprint and with how the team worked together. I’ll take confidence from today and hope to pull out the win later in the week.”
A three rider breakaway dominated the early action with Jens Voigt (RadioShack Leopard Trek), Olivier Kaisen (Lotto Belisol) and Robert Vrecer (Euskaltel Euskadi) slipping up the road inside the first kilometre. The trio built up a maximum advantage of 4’18 in the first hour of racing.
“Cannondale and Argos-Shimano put riders on the front early,” noted Sport Director Matt White. “They never allowed the break much more than four minutes. It stayed between two and four minutes for 120 kilometres.”
The break split over the second category two climb of the stage as Kaisen fell off pace. As Voigt and Vrecer continued to collaborate, Danilo Wyss (IAM) attacked but was unable to bridge across to the two leaders. Inside the last 40 kilometres, IAM and Omega Pharma-QuickStep joined in the chase.
As the advantage hovered around 30” in the last five kilometres, Voigt attacked Vrecer and momentarily extended his lead over the bunch. ORICA-GreenEDGE took this as their cue to come to the front to chase, ensuring Voigt would not steal the sprinters’ spoils.
“A lot of teams with a lot of fresh riders had to make sure Jens didn’t succeed with another kamikaze attack the way he did in California two weeks ago,” said White. “They caught him with two kilometres to go.”
“It was a stressful final coming into the town,” White added. “There was a lot of road furniture. Our boys were in a very good position, and they did a good job setting Gossy up for the last corner.”
A 90° left-hand turn 200 metres from the line proved decisive. Demare was the first rider through the corner and onto the finishing straight.
“We knew we needed to be first or second into that last corner,” explained White. “Gossy had to go through the corner in the outside line. Demare had the inside line. This meant Gossy had to make up two or three big lengths in the last 135 metres.”
“I think I ran second or third in through the corner,” Gossy added. “I ran out of metres in the final.”
Despite the near miss, both White and Goss were upbeat about the teamwork and the sprint.
“It’s good to see Gossy sprinting like that again,” said White. “At the Giro, he was ill. He’s completely recovered now and looking for the win. He has more opportunities in coming days.”
“This is the first time that Daryl [Impey], Stuey [O’Grady], Cookie [Baden Cooke] and I are racing together since the Tour de France,” said Goss. “They all rode really well for me, and I felt good in the sprint. If we keep riding like this, I can be confident that a win isn’t too far away.”