New team sticking to the game plan
Matt Goss believes that WorldTour neophytes GreenEdge are measuring up to expectations, at least those set by the team, in their first few months.
Goss, speaking to Cyclingnews before teammate Simon Gerrans' victory at Milan-San Remo on Saturday afternoon, said that there was little to complain about.
"In the team respect we've done fairly well so far, we've won the national title, Down Under, pretty much everything in Australia," he said. "We've won the team time trial in Tirreno which is a huge thing being a brand new team and having never ridden together, never used this equipment and then to come out and win the way we did and have the jersey there.
"While doing that we've had a team in Paris-Nice with Gerro who just missed out on a stage win and was unlucky to crash on the second opportunity for a stage win for himself," Goss continued. "I think that for a brand new team there's not a lot that people can pick at at the moment. We've been performing well."
Question marks over the performance of GreenEdge followed the outfit from Gerrans' narrow overall win at the Tour Down Under to Qatar and Oman, while the opening WorldTour race raised some eyebrows for the way the ochre jersey was won.
Phil Anderson, the man by and large responsible for Gerrans' love of the bike having lived next door in the town of Mansfield in Victoria, viewed the GreenEdge tactics as being "risky" especially with the stage and then overall result on Willunga Hill so close to not falling in Gerrans' favour.
"Seeing Simon isolated on the circuits at the end was a very dangerous situation and if it was my team I'd be pretty upset about that, but as long as they learn from their mistakes and that it doesn't happen further in the season," Anderson said.
Meantime Gerrans himself admitted to the team still working their way into their groove.
"We haven't all raced in a stage race together before," he said. "Obviously we did the national championships and we've done certain world championships and Olympic Games that sort of thing together but it does take a few days for everyone to really learn their roles in the team."
Lithuanian sprinter Aidis Kruopis took third in Qatar's third stage and Baden Cooke was runner-up on Stage 2 in Oman. When it came to the Belgian semi classics, Het Nieuwsblad and Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, the team was labelled as 'anonymous'.
From the outset, GreenEdge said they would target the Australian Road Championships, the classics and smaller stage races in their inaugural year – and three months in, they had delivered, yet opinion remained divided as to their performance.
"There's always going to be people where something's never enough and I think you're going to get that no matter what," Goss admitted to Cyclingnews.
Regardless, the 2011 Milan-SanRemo winner believes that at the end of the day, variety in results only adds to the sport's popularity.
"It's what makes the sport exciting," Goss said. "It's what makes people watch the sport. If they knew who was going to win they wouldn't turn the tv on.
"I'm really happy with how the team's going and we're just sticking to what we said at the start, if we keep going the way we are at the end of the season I don't think there's going to be too much for people to complain about."
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