Orica GreenEdge has the past two winners of Milan-Sanremo in its ranks, but defending champion Simon Gerrans is betting on a bunch sprint for this year's edition and is hoping that 2011 winner Matthew Goss will return to the top step of the podium.
“The way I won last year is rare,” said Gerrans. “Milan-Sanremo isn’t often won by a breakaway that forms in the closing kilometres of the race. Obviously, it can happen – and if it does, we know that I can win in that type of situation. In that regard, we have a couple cards to play. Our main card, our ace, is that we’ve got Gossy in great shape.”
Goss won Milan-Sanremo in 2011by taking the sprint of an eight-man group. In 2012 he had just joined Orica GreenEdge and went into the race with two rounds of antibiotics and knee problems behind him, and finished only 15th. He had one victory all season, a stage at the Giro d'Italia. The Australian already has one win this year, taking the sprint in the second stage of Tirreno-Adriatico, and seems to be back to his top speed.
“With Gossy’s Tirreno win late last week, he’s shown that he’s in fantastic shape at the moment,” said Gerrans. “If the race comes down to a bunch sprint, which is the most likely scenario, he’ll be our man. The team will line up with the plan to support Gossy. I’ll have a bit of free rein in the final. That was our approach last year, too.”
Orica GreenEdge named its team for Milan-Sanremo today, listing nine riders although the team can only start with eight. Either Jens Mouris or Svein Tuft will join Gerrans, Baden Cooke, Jens Keukeleire, Daryl Impey, Matt Goss, Sebastian Langeveld and Stuart O’Grady.
“If you’re counting, you’ll notice we listed nine riders,” said Sport Director Neil Stephens. “We can only start eight. We traveled from Tirreno yesterday to team training camp, and we have both Jens and Svein here. Svein fell ill with two stages left to race at Tirreno-Adriatico He’s a key rider for us at Milan-Sanremo, and we’re hoping he’ll make a full recovery. If not, Jens Mouris is ready to step up.”