Matthew Goss blasts to stage 2 victory in 2013 Tirreno-Adriatico
Earlier this afternoon Team GreenEdge's Matthew Goss powered through the rainy streets of Indicatore, Italy to take the victory in stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico 2013, finishing ahead of Italian Manuel Belletti of AG2R and Germany’s Gerald Ciolek of Team MTN-Qhubeka.
Today's route transported the riders through the Chianti region and passed through Siena, which also welcomed the professional peloton in last week's famed Strade Bianche race.
The beginning of the 232 kilometer stage, which started in San Vincenzo, saw a breakaway trio take off from the peloton before the rain set in. The trio featured Garikoitz Bravo (Euskaltel-Euskadi), Kevin Hulsmans (Fantini Vini-Selle Italia) and Cesare Benedetti (NetApp-Endura) and gained a maximum advantage of seven minutes before the Omega Pharma-QuickStep-headed main peloton began to grind minutes off the breakaway group's lead.
The trio had a 3:15 advantage to the main peloton group at the start of the first finishing lap in the town of Indicatore. Team FDJ took over from Omega Pharma-QuickStep to help bring back the breakaway hopefuls. Then Cannondale Pro Cycling Team moved to the front with about five kilometers to go, hoping to deliver Peter Sagan in a perfect position for the final sprint.
Spectators then saw Team Vacansoleil-DCM intensify the work done at the front, while the Lotto team's leadout men brought sprint ace Andre Greipel to the front in a tough effort in the final kilometers of the stage.
The sprint to the finish line was initiated by Sagan with less than five hundred meters to go. Ciolek moved past Sagan, but he saw Goss deliver a perfectly timed sprint effort which catapulted him across the finish line.
When asked to explain his chosen tactic in the final kilometers, Goss told Roadcycling.com "In the sprint Sagan came from behind. He had come from a long way back but I knew he’d go anyway, so I kind of timed my sprint on his."
"This is my first road race in Europe this season and I’ve won, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the season now. I know if I’m in good shape I can do a good Milano-San Remo next week. It’s definitely a goal for me," Goss revealed.
"That was the perfect start in our first WorldTour race," third place finisher Ciolek commented and added "We ride for a fantastic project to get African kids on bicycles. That is a great motivation for me and the team. I think the whole team, which works very hard for our goal."
Team Omega Pharma-QuickStep's former World Champion Mark Cavendish finished fifth in today's stage and was clearly disappointed with the help he received from his teammates. "We worked as a team, but we weren’t in a good position in the final kilometer. I’m disappointed with my lead out. I know they’re better than that. We’ll have words tonight." Cavendish, however, managed to hang on to his overall race lead and received a sweet treat from the Italian podium girls on the podium in Indicatore.
Tomorrow's stage 3 of this year's Tirreno-Adriatico is a 190 kilometer ride from Indicatore to Narni Scalo.