Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) has struggled for victories since he landed a stage at last year’s Tirreno-Adriatico – his only win in the past twelve months came at the Bay Crits series in January – but he showed significant signs of life in finishing second on stage 3 of Paris-Nice on Tuesday.
The 2011 Milan-San Remo winner has continued to place consistently in sprints over the past year and his former GreenEdge teammate Stuart O'Grady believes that he simply needs a win to open the floodgates.
"Gossy is a confidence rider," O'Grady told Cyclingnews last month. "Every winner is a confidence rider. A rider needs to be confident to win. Once you get a few runs on the board then everything just flows - ask [Tom] Boonen or [Mark] Cavendish."
O'Grady, retired from professional cycling following the 2013 Tour de France and then confessed to using EPO ahead of the 1998 Tour, believes Goss still has all the talent and drive, but is perhaps a victim of unlucky timing.
"Gossy has come up against a guy like [Peter] Sagan that has just come out of nowhere," said O'Grady of the two-time Tour de France green jersey winner. "Gossy's big strength is being able to get over the climbs in the long races when the sprinters are being dropped. But now you have Sagan who is getting over the climbs in the first 10 to 15 places. Gossy is coming up against a freak."
According to O'Grady, Sagan's versatile athleticism is not the only challenge Goss faces, but also the sheer strength of his German adversaries from Giant-Shimano and Lotto-Belisol, Marcel Kittel and André Greipel.
"If you haven't got Sagan there, you have Marcel Kittel or Andre Greipel putting out 1,800 watts in the sprint finishes," he continued. "Hell, even Cav is kind of struggling these days.
"But Gossy just needs a couple of wins to get the mojo going again, and he looks as in good of shape as I've seen him in a long time. Wins will come in 2014."