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With Milan-San Remo just days away, the teams of the top competitors are starting to come together, and the GreenEdge team of defending champion Matthew Goss has been announced along with that of Vacansoleil-DCM and FDJ-BigMat.
Goss may have been the surprise Milan-San Remo winner in 2011 when his then-HTC-Highroad teammate Mark Cavendish was left behind when the peloton was split by a crash, but this year he will have the entire GreenEdge team behind him as he seeks a second title.
Canadian champion Svein Tuft will provide the diesel engine for the Australian team's train, having demonstrated his ability to click off countless kilometers on the front of the race at Tirreno-Adriatico. Stuart O'Grady provides tactical savvy, while Simon Gerrans will be the squad's go-to guy if a small group escapes on the Poggio or Cipressa. The team also brings Baden Cooke, Matt Wilson, Sebastian Langeveld and Tomas Vaitkus, according to the team's website.
Goss himself is recovering from a cold and abandoned Tirreno-Adriatico as a precautionary measure, his team announced yesterday. "Matt is going really well, and we don't want to run any risks before the big one-day races coming up. In pulling him out of the race now, after two really hard days, we'll still be able to count on him recovering fully for Milano-Sanremo and the other big Classics," said directeur sportif Matt White.
"I'm obviously not happy pulling out, but I think it's the best decision to play it safe leading up to Milano-Sanremo. I've gotten some really good racing under the belt here and I think I'll be ready to go hard again after having shaken this cold in a few days," Goss said.
Always in the mix is the Vacansoleil-DCM team, and Italian Marco Marcato will be looking to improve upon last year's 15th place in Sanremo. Pim Ligthart, Bjorn Leukemans, Gustav Larsson, Johnny Hoogerland and Paris-Nice king of the mountains Frederik Veuchelen will be at his side, as will Kris Boeckmans and Bert-jan Lindeman.
FDJ-BigMat will be represented by the ever-aggressive William Bonnet, Steve Chainel, Arnaud Gérard, Anthony Geslin, Matthieu Ladagnous, Gabriel Rasch, Dominique Rollin and Arthur Vichot.