Matt Goss (CSC-Saxo Bank) holds out Baden Cooke (Barloworld) to win his second stage in two days
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Matt Goss of the CSC-Saxo Bank team, won the opening stage of the Herald Sun tour in a bunch sprint....
Matt Goss of the CSC-Saxo Bank team, won the opening stage of the Herald Sun tour in a bunch sprint. Like in the prologue, which does not count toward the overall, Baden Cooke ended in second place. And just like yesterday Goss attributed a large portion of his win in the 130km trek from Traralgon to Inverloch to the work of his teammates, particularly Stuart O'Grady, who broke away from the peloton with 65km remaining only to be caught 15km from the finish.
"It was pretty windy all day but we always had someone in front and Stuey [O'Grady] made it easy because we didn't have to do anything for the last 50 to 60km because everyone was just chasing him," said a jubilant Goss. "It was a hard day and it was good to finish off well. It's nice to get a win here, even though yesterday was good, this is even better."
With CSC-Saxo Bank having only five riders in the race the experienced O'Grady decided the best option for them was to go on the attack and force the others to chase. He broke away to get a maximum lead of almost four minutes. At one stage it looked like the 35-year-old would pull off a stunning win, only to ride into the teeth of a ferocious head wind 20km from the finish that almost instantaneously halted his dash to the line.
"It was the head more than anything telling me to attack and it was a moment when everyone looked pretty hammered," O'Grady said. "In the end I probably bit off a bit more than I could chew. But you've got to give it a crack. The conditions were just too tough for me. It was just a massive headwind the whole way and it was just too much in the end."
Once O'Grady was caught by the chase - led by the Toyota-United and Barloworld teams - there was still plenty of team support for the 21-year-old Tasmanian Goss in the hectic run to the line. "There was a stack in the finish but I'm not really sure what happened because it was just behind me," Goss said. "I was just trying to keep near the front. The Toyota boys hit out at around 600m to go and [teammate] Brad McGee followed those guys and I jumped on the wheel.
Full results, report and photos are here