Matt Goss Sprints to Fourth in AdelaideSun 27 Jan 2013
ORICA-GreenEDGE closed out the Tour Down Under with fourth place in the final field sprint in Adelaide. Matt Goss narrowly missed the podium as André Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) sprinted to victory ahead of Mark Renshaw (Blanco) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Sky). Tom-Jelte Slagter (Blanco) retained his general classification lead to win the first WorldTour race of the season.
“We were confident that the race would finish in a sprint,” said Sport Director Matt Wilson. “We expected that Lotto, Blanco and Sky would control the race, and we knew we wouldn’t have to do much work. We didn’t want to waste energy putting anyone in a breakaway. The plan was to keep the team around Gossy [Matt Goss] and use Lotto at the finish.”
“We executed the plan,” he added. “We just didn’t have the legs on the day.”
While the team had hoped for a better result on the final stage of racing, Wilson can confirm that the team leaves Adelaide satisfied with what they accomplished. Goss ran second in the Cancer Classic and in Stirling, and Simon Gerrans overcame breathing issues earlier in the week to win in Willunga.
“All in all, it was a successful race,” Wilson said. “We came with a plan to ride for Simon Gerrans, and we did that 100%. He ran into some problems on stage two that prevented him for contending for the overall, but we still backed him yesterday – and it paid off when he took the win.”
“When things went wrong for the overall, we attacked the stages full gas,” he continued. “In cycling, everything doesn’t go smoothly all the time. It’s what you do when it doesn’t go smoothly that really counts. I think the boys showed a lot of character this week.”
From here, the Tour Down Under team disperses to tackle their individual programmes.
“Everyone has different races upcoming,” said Wilson. “Some riders will fly straight to Europe. Others fly home for a short period before going to Qatar and Oman. Some will go home for a longer period of time than race Langkwai. I’m currently scheduled to direct in Langkawi, but that may change as my wife is due to have a baby in March. Wherever we go next, we’ll all take away something here that we can put to good use for the rest of the season.”
Note: Stuart O'Grady received the Tanya Denver Award following the final stage of Tour Down Under. This award is in memory of a great supporter and dedicated journalist and is awarded to the best placed South Australian competitor in the overall classification. The inaugural award was in 2002 - and O'Grady is a five-time winner.