Goss wins GP Liberazione
Australia.com-AIS rider Matthew Goss has given the team it's first road victory for the season
with a stunning victory in the 138km GP Liberazione in Rome. The 19 year
old from Tasmania outsprinted an international field of 199 riders in
the prestige U23 event contested by more than 25 nations.
"This is great," said
Goss. "Only one other Aussie has won it and you can't do more than win
two in a row but hopefully we can win it again next year."
Goss and his team mates were in the thick of the action from the gun and when a threatening break went at seven of the 23 laps remaining both Goss and Simon Clarke joined the move. Whilst the group of around 25 riders looked strong the main field was determined to bring them back and with two laps remaining the race was all together.
"I made sure I was always in the splits when they happened but when I was in them I wasn't doing too much work because I was pretty sure it would come to a sprint finish and was confident if that was the case I had a good chance," said Goss after being presented with four trophies including the "President of the Italian Republic Trophy". "So while I was in the breaks I wasn't the one driving them - better to be safe rather than sorry."
Simon Clarke launched an attack two kilometres from the finish with two other riders but they were unable to hold off the bunch and as they approached the final corner into the finishing straight the scene was set for a mass sprint.
"I don't know if it was part of the plan but at one stage I thought it was going to work," said Goss of Clarke's attack which was reminiscnet of Sutton's winning move in 2005. "But it was good for me because the bunch hestitated and that gave me the chance to get the position I wanted heading onto the climb.
"I managed to come over the climb in third or fourth wheeel so from there we just caught Clarke's group and it was a sprint to the finish line."
Goss wound it up 350m from the line and turned on an unbeatable sprint which saw him cross the line for victory by a clear margin.
It's the third podium for Goss in a fortnight coming after Sunday's third place in the 170km Vicenza - Bionde Italian Elite race and his gold medal performance with the Autsralian teams pursuit at the Bordeaux World Championships.
The team then headed to the start of the Reggioni Tour where Simon Clarke claimed fourth place in the opening prologue of the six day race. The prologue in Reggioni conists of six heats with a rider from each of the 25 teams lining up. The first two across the line in each heat progress to the final of 12 riders.
"He was a bit disappointed because he won here last year and had put a bit of pressure on himself to do it again," said Team Director Brian Stephens. "But unfortunately an Italian rider crashed in front of him in the final sprint and brought Simon down as well.
"Nothing serious and I'm not too concerned as I just wanted them all to get around safely because the race really starts from tomorrow."
Shaun Higgerson, Dan McConnell, Jonathon Clarke and Wesley Sulzberger are the other four team members contesting the Reggioni Tour.
For further information please contact:
Gennie Sheer, Media Manager, Cycling Australia
Tel: +61 418 863 533
Team website: www.southaustralia-ais.com
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