Orica-GreenEDGE rider Matt Goss takes First Grand Tour Victory
Goss finished in 4 hours, 20 minutes, 53 seconds. Juan Jose Haedo of Saxo Bank finished second and Tyler Farrar of Garmin-Barracuda was third, both with the same time.
"My teammates rode really well today and I was happy I could finish it off for them and avoid the carnage behind," said Goss, who won last year's Milan-San Remo classic.
Goss climbed to 8th place overall, with the same time as fellow Australian Brett Lancanster, 23 seconds from the lead. "I'm really happy to win today to pay back the team for placing me perfectly," said Goss. "They worked incredibly hard for me all day."
While Orica-GreenEDGE patiently bided their time, the teams with an interest in the sprint jostled for prime position. Inside the last two kilometers, a five-rider Orica-GreenEDGE train moved up the left side of the peloton to place Goss into position.
"The final circuit was quite flat, but there was corner that went downhill from 1900 meters to 1700 meters," explained Sports Director Matt White. "The plan was to put five guys into that corner first. It didn't work out exactly like that, but the guys still managed to get to the front with the numbers needed at the right time. We knew we could only go once. If we didn't get the timing right, we would have gotten boxed in. It was way too fast of a sprint to surge for a second time."
With slightly more than 100 meters left to race, Roberto Ferrari (Androni Giocattoli-Venezuela) deviated from his line on the straight run-in towards the finish. The move took out the front wheel of Mark Cavendish (Sky Procycling) and left riders behind scrambling to avoid a massive pile-up. Race leader Taylor Phinney (BMC) was also involved in the incident.
"I have been really close to a win in recent races," said Goss. "To take my first win of the season here in our first Grand Tour is a fantastic feeling. I would like to dedicate this victory to the team."