Matthew Goss [Orica-GreenEDGE] put an end to a near year-long dry spell with victory on stage two of the Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic in Geelong's Eastern Park.
The 2011 Milan-San Remo champion capitalised on the agressive pace set by his team-mates and a perfect lead out to finish, ahead of defending champion Caleb Ewan (Subaru NSWIS) and teammate Leigh Howard. The win also handed Goss the yellow jersey.
"It's perfect," Goss said. "I know I crossed the line first, but we had five guys there with a lap to go. The team was incredible and thanks to them for having the confidence in me the last couple of years and still sticking with me.
"The guys here, it is a very young team, I am the veteran in the team nearly, at only 27, so to have a young team of them ride like they did, they covered everything, there wasn't a thing they did wrong and its always an honour to have five guys lined up in front of you at any bike race and the way they delivered me to the last few hundred (metres) was as good as any I have had."
After a year that saw him fall into the show of sprinters such as Michael Matthews, Goss said the victory was crucial for his confidence heading into the 2014 season.
"Finally," Goss said. "It seemed to be a long time between drinks but it's a great start and I won
this exact crit in 2011 so hopefully it is a sign of something similar.
"The second race day of 2014 and to already have a win is a perfect start. It only takes one win to get the confidence up and to keep it going is a lot easier than to get that first one."
After a sixth place finish yesterday, the victory has moved the Tasmanian into the yellow jersey on 17 points ahead on Brenton Jones (15pts) who impressed for the second day running and Zak Dempster (14pts) who was outside of the top ten and dropped from first to third.
In what was to be a very active race, the first attack came from New Zealand's Tom Scully (Total Rush / Hyster Racing) and sprint leader Felix English (Rapha Condor JLT). But the Orica-GreenEDGE outfit didn't allow them to take too much time and shut it down before launching countless attacks throughout the remaining 45 minutes from the likes of Luke Durbridge, Leigh Howard and Michael Hepburn.
With the breaks unsuccessful, the team re-gathered in the final four laps to set Goss up for the victory.
Hosking beats Bronzini
In the women's race, 2010 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Chloe Hosking (Roxsolt) took an surprising and emotional victory on the 2km circuit in memory of her late brother-in-law, ahead of Giorgia Bronzini.
Many expected another dominating performance by the fearsome Wiggle Honda outfit, but Hosking prevailed over the double world champion. After crossing the line, she tributing her victory to her brother in law who passed away from a rare form of cancer in October having been in remission for five years.
"This is special to get this win. I am riding for my brother-in-law Lachie today so it is really special," an emotional Hosking said after the race. "He was diagnosed with a really rare form of cancer in 2006 when he was 19
and he had five years of remission but passed away in October this past year.
"I have been getting on my bike and I see him there every day," Hosking said referring to the 'ride4Lachie' sticker on her bike frame.
The 23-year-old found herself in a less than ideal position coming into the last corner with 400m to start her sprint early. The move paid off holding off yellow jersey wearer Bronzini (Wiggle Honda) and Orica-AIS rider Annette Edmondson.
"We wanted to be really aggressive because yesterday Bronzini was just too fast for all of us," Hosking said of the team's tactics.
"I was probably like fifteen back around that (last) corner, so too far back, but I just went really early and I think I caught everybody off guard. I was like no chance am I going to win this, but I held them off, I was
Second position was enough to keep Bronzini in yellow sitting on 22points, three ahead of Hosking (19pts) and four ahead of Edmondson (18pts).
The Mitchelton Bay Cycling Classic continues tomorrow with the toughest of the four circuits, a 1.3km loop in Portarlington.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Matthew Goss (Aus) Orica GreenEdge||1:01:54|
|2||Caleb Ewan (Aus) Subaru NSWIS|
|3||Leigh Howard (Aus) Orica GreenEdge|
|4||Brenton Jones (Aus) Procon Telematics'|
|5||Graham Briggs (Gbr) Rapha Condor JLT|
|6||Raphael Freienstein (Ger) Charter Mason/Brennan IT|
|7||Allan Davis (Aus) Chain Reaction|
|8||Felix English (Irl) Rapha Condor JLT|
|9||Zakkari Dempster (Aus) SASI|
|10||Russell Gill (Aus) SASI|
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Chloe Hosking (Aus) Roxsolt|
|2||Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle Honda||0:46:06|
|3||Annette Edmondson (Aus) Orica-AIS|
|4||Gracie Elvin (Aus) Jayco National Team|
|5||Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Specialized Securitor|
|6||Chloe McConville (Aus)|
|7||Sophie Williamson (NZl) Vanderkitten|
|8||Loren Rowney (Aus) Specialized Securitor|
|9||Kristy Glover (Aus) Bicycle Superstore|
|10||Jessica Allen (GBr)|
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