Orica GreenEdge hope unlucky as Howard continues to shine
Having targeted Gent-Wevelgem for Matt Goss, Orica GreenEdge's one bright spot on the results sheet was Leigh Howard in 25th place, with his compatriot failing to finish in the highly selective race along with the rest of the team.
In summation, Goss explained that Sunday's shortened 75th edition of Gent-Wevelgem "wasn't an ideal day."
Caught out on the first ascent of the Kemmel and without a representative in the breakaway, Goss, Howard and Sebastian Langeveld made it back to the front group just ahead of the second ascent but for Goss, the energy expenditure on trying to get back on had come at a cost.
"I'd thrown away my jacket with all my food in it so I ended up chasing around everyone for food most of the day and I ran out of gas a little bit at the end," he told Cyclingnews.
"It's always tricky a race like this, especially the way it started with no neutral and the cross-winds," the 26-year-old Tasmanian continued. "Everyone has the same idea. There are 180 bike riders and you have to be in the first 20 or 30 guys there and if you weren't then your race is over pretty much straight away."
With Grand Tour ambitions again on the horizon for the sprinter, where this year he'll be aiming to add to his two Giro d'Italia stage victories and finally claim his first stage win at the Tour de France, the next steps for Goss need to be carefully considered. Already lucky to escape a more serious injury having crashed in the cold and wet at Milan-San Remo last week, plans to race Paris-Roubaix in a fortnight's time may have to be shelved.
"I think at this point Flanders is the next race, I'll do that and then probably have a break," Goss said, with the Tour of Romandie on his calendar in the lead up to the Giro.
"I wouldn't mind it [Roubaix] but it's a bit of a risk for the team as well. If we're going to be going to the Giro to try and do well I can't be going to Roubaix. You can crash at any race but there's more chance at Roubaix."
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