It's not an easy decision for a sprinter with Olympic ambitions in 2012, but Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) says that when he leaves Liège this weekend, he'll be doing so with the ambition to still be sprinting when the Tour de France reaches the Champs Elysees on July 22.
On Monday, he was confirmed as an automatic selection for Australia's five-man road team for the Olympic Games in London, meaning that both his preparation and condition will be of the upmost importance.
"It's a tricky one you know," Goss admitted to Cyclingnews. "There's only six days after the Tour but I definitely plan to finish the Tour at this stage and then go over to London.
"80-85% of guys who race the Tour will be racing the Olympics but only a handful of guys will train specifically for it so a lot of us are going to be in the same boat. It's probably going to be pretty painful for the first 100kms but the last part shouldn't be too bad."
Goss has one individual win against his name for the season, Stage 3 of the Giro d'Italia in Horsens, where he bettered JJ Haedo (Saxo Bank) and Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) who will both be in action at the Tour. Should Goss do as planned and race to Paris, he should be in line for the green jersey. Former teammate and now rival, Mark Cavendish (Sky), says he is not eying the points classification for the second year in a row.
Cavendish was ruled out of the sprint in Horsens, held up by a crash, and given the expectations between the two sprinters Goss for one was slightly disappointed the Sky rider was not there.
"It would have been nice if he had of been there because I think that with the situation I probably still would have won the stage," Goss explained. "There were other sprints there [at the Giro] where, the first day he just kind of powered away from me a little bit in the first sprint but the third stage where I got second behind him in the sprint again I was coming from a bike-length behind and I was able to close the gap and start coming off him. While I didn't get to race him in a sprint that I won straight up, for myself it's good to know that when I'm going well can go as fast – I've just got to get the positioning right.
"There has been a lot of talk about me and Cav against each other but at the end of the day, I'm not just going to follow Cav around and try and beat him in a sprint," Goss continued. "We're there to win stages and that means beating everyone in the race."