The 2011 Milan-San Remo champion Matt Goss will lead the Australian Orica-GreenEdge WorldTour team at the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic, the 'Bay Crits,' which begins early next year. Goss is looking to revert back to the 2011 training and racing program that delivered his most successful season to date which included overall victory at the then ‘Jayco' Bay Cycling Classic.
In the past two seasons Goss has had little success in winning races and is hoping to start his season with a win. A change in his training schedule sees Goss tweak his preparation with the hope that he can once again win some big races by adopting a 'Sagan like' approach to racing in 2014.
Joining the 27-year-old will be fellow fast-men Mitch Docker and Geelong's Leigh Howard who returns to his local criterium series.
Completing the line-up are time trial specialists Michael Hepburn and Luke Durbridge who impressed at the 2013 event with a solo victory on the Portarlington circuit.
Team sport director Matt Wilson is expecting a challenging four days of racing in the criterium series. "We will be going in with the aim of winning at least a couple of stages out of the four," Wilson said.
"They aren't easy races to win though, as they are super competitive criteriums and most guys are coming into January and the early season with great form."
With the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic kicking off the new year, Wilson said that the event filled a nice spot on the calendar for the team as they work towards preparing for some key early season objectives of home soil.
"We usually take a team that balances the riders' personal objectives with the team's objectives for the race," Wilson said. "It's always good for the team to get some early wins. It really sets us up for a great year and helps the guys to build in confidence leading into the big early season races."
The team will also use the event as preparation for the Australian national championships the following week and the Tour Down Under later in the month in a busy January with the Jayco Herald Sun Tour to follow in February..
The Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic returns to its traditional four-day event program, beginning on Thursday 2 January as the first race of the 2014 season.