Australian aims for Tour de France start
After a five-week break, Matt Goss (HTC-Highroad) is on the hunt for another victory in one of the three possible sprint stages at the Amgen Tour of California.
"I think stage two will be a definite bunch sprint, as long as the race is held together by the sprint teams, that will happen," Goss told Cyclingnews.
Weather permitting, there are three predicted sprint opportunities on stage two's finishing city of Sacramento, stage five into Paso Robles and stage eight into Thousand Oaks.
Goss took a small break from racing following a series of prestigious victories during the early season that included Cancer Council Classic, Santos Tour Down Under stage one, Tour of Oman stage two, Paris-Nice stage three and Milan-San Remo.
"Training has been going well but I haven't raced for nearly five weeks," Goss said. "It is a bit of an uncertainty but training has been going well and my form is coming up OK and so this should be a good race for me."
The Amgen Tour of California attracted a top notch sprint line up that includes current UCI World Road Champion Thor Hushovd (Garmin-Cervelo), Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank), Greg Henderson and Ben Swift (Sky ProCycling) among others.
"There is such a high quality of sprinters here, every race we go to now there are a high quality of sprinters," Goss said. "There isn't really one guy that you can say you have to ride next to because there is a list of maybe six riders like that here. We just have to focus on our team doing what they do best and then I have to worry about finishing it off for them."
Goss is focused on the second half of his season, which includes lining up at the Tour de France in July and ending the season with a strong performance at the UCI World Championships held in September in Copenhagen, Denmark.
"I've had the perfect start to my season so it is easier to come into the next part with confidence and feeling really good," Goss said. "My goals are to go to the Tour de France and coming off of a good early season puts me in the mindset to focus and reset my new goals. I'll use the next stage races to build up my form, I'm not in 100 per cent for right now, but I can build up over the next two months to where I was. I can hopefully be at the Tour de France and be really good there."
"Worlds will be another big goal," he added. "It is a flat course and that is an opportunity at the World Championships that we [sprinters] don't get very often. It is going to be a difficult year for me and a really long year. I will have to time the form that I have really well."
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