Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) brought the curtain down on his Giro d’Italia with 6th place in the bunch sprint on stage 13, but the Australian leaves the race with his morale intact and with his sights set firmly on the Tour de France and London 2012 Olympics.
With just one possible sprint stage in the final week of racing, Goss is unlikely to be the only fast man to pull out of the Giro on the eve of its entry into the high mountains at Cervinia on Saturday. Speaking to Cyclingnews as he prepared to leave Cervere, Goss explained that his entire season has been centred around performing in July.
“I came into this season deliberating trying to be better from now through to the end of the Tour and the Olympic Games,” Goss said. “The programme from here is the Tour of Slovenia and then the Tour de France. Normally I’d do the Tour de Suisse, but I think it’s too much to do the Giro, Tour, Suisse and the Olympic Games, so I’ll really just take it easy now and recover.”
Goss arrived the Giro without a win to his name this season, but an early victory on stage three at Horsens served as something of a liberation. Although he didn’t add to his tally thereafter, the Tasmanian was encouraged by his consistency over the two weeks, twice finishing second to Mark Cavendish (Sky) and enjoying a spell in the red jersey of points leader.
“I was really happy to win the stage, both for myself and the team, because that was the goal coming in here,” he said. “I was a little disappointed to crash on stage 9 because that would have been another great opportunity to win a stage, but I’m still happy to come out of here some with consistent performances, apart from a couple of little crashes.”
Goss came a cropper on the final corner on stage 9, and he was still feeling the effects of that tumble in the sprint on Friday, even if he admitted that he didn’t have the necessary vim in his legs to match Cavendish at Cervere.
“I think my gluts were a little bit locked from those crashes in the past few days but I’m not making any excuses – those guys were just quicker than me today,” he said. “It just kind of slowed a little bit at the end of the lead-out and when I had to accelerate, I just didn’t have that pure punch that I needed.”
Goss will be hoping that such punch isn’t lacking when he lines up at the Olympic Games road race on July 28, particularly given that it comes just five days after the Tour de France draws to a close in Paris.
“The Olympic Games are going to be the same for most people,” he said. “It’s going to be trying to get recovered as quickly as possible from the Tour so you can race again. But in any case, I’m really going to focus on the Tour before that. I’ll look to be consistent, try and win some stages, and have a crack at the points jersey if I’m thereabouts.
“We came here to get the team working well for the Tour, and it definitely is I think, so I’m really looking forward to July now.”
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Barry Ryan is European Editor at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation (opens in new tab), published by Gill Books.