Punctures, horrific crashes and a stage win – HTC-Highroad's Matt Goss has experienced both sides of the coin over three days of the Tour Down Under.
The Australian sprinter and much-hyped favourite to claim overall honours in the Pro Tour's first event of the season, took out the first stage before coming to grief in one of three crashes that marred the finish on day two in Mannum.
While black cats are yet to be seen, Goss is hoping his bad luck has come to an end as he reclaimed the ochre leader's jersey by just two seconds over Omega Pharma-Lotto's Andre Greipel.
"I've got the harder days to come so I could use some of that there," he said before heading to the podium presentation in Stirling.
Puncture ends chance at a second stage win
Today's bad luck came in the form of a puncture with around 15 kilometres left to go in the 129.7 kilometre course.
Usually it's a case of getting a new wheel and moving on as quickly as possible but for Goss, the change wasn't so simple.
"The bunch was going fairly hard but it wasn't really, really lined out so I knew I could get back but then we had a little bit of stress because we couldn't get the back wheel in my bike and I don't know what was happening but it just couldn't fit," Goss told reporters.
"So I had to change my bike but I was stressed when I saw the ambulance go past - there's no more cars after that.
"I only just got back at the bottom of the climb with about 4km to go so it was a very hard way to get the jersey back but I'm very happy to be in it now."
Goss recovered to claim third place behind Rabobank's Michael Matthews and Omega Pharma-Lotto's Andre Greipel.
Mixed emotions for Peiper
HTC-Highroad sports director Allan Peiper said that while he was happy to have Goss retain the lead on general classification, he was disappointed to have missed out on another stage win.
"We've missed vital points two days in a row, vital seconds that will come down to GC standings," he told Cyclingnews after the race.
"Matt has the confidence riding in the leader's jersey but at the same time I suppose looking at it positively, cutting our losses two days in a row and still coming out in the leader's jersey is pretty damn unbelievable actually."
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