HomeNews & FeaturesRoad CyclingMatthew Goss wins Wallonie third stage after 200 km break

Matthew Goss wins Wallonie third stage after 200 km break

Coming into the stage with a plan to work for the team’s sprinters, Saxo Bank sent Matthew Goss on the attack very early on.

Getting into a break with two other riders after racing only five kilometers, Goss and his breakaway companions were able to hold off the fast charging peloton at the line. Excellent team work from the entire Saxo Bank squad meant that Goss’ teammates were behind him controlling the peloton, keeping their sprinters and GC riders at the head of affairs.

All hands on deck

"Today we went into the stage with a mind to set up the sprint," Saxo Bank Directeur Sportif Brad McGee explained. "Though it was a hill top finish, we had our riders covering moves to control the race for the sprinters." Goss getting into the early break was part of the team plan, though no one was certain whether the move would stick. "To be honest I wasn’t certain whether the break could last since it was a long, hilly day, I figured we would probably get caught with 20 or 30 kilometers left to race," Matthew Goss explained. "But with 10k to go we still had 1.30 and so we really pushed hard together to make it work." For the first 170 kilometers, Goss had been working with a Katusha and a Cofidis rider. But with about 20 kilometers the Cofidis man dropped off the pace, leaving just two escapees to fight for the win. "Once we got rid of the Cofidis rider, we really threw everything into making the break last," Goss said. "We basically did the same amount of work with an eye to fighting it out at the finish." The weather conditions did not help the situation, as the riders had to face rain and a head wind nearly the entire stage. "It was a tough day out there but Gossy did a great job tactically and obviously has fantastic legs," McGee said.

Tough climb tops off day

Before anyone could dream of victory, they first had to get over the 1 kilometer cobbled climb which crested just under a kilometer from the finish line. "The cobbled climb was pretty steep but luckily it wasn’t too wet, though the roads leading up to it had a lot of turns which were very wet and dangerous," Goss said. "The rider from Katusha led up the climb while I followed close behind and sprinted around him with 100 meters or so to go, it was definitely a tough little finish." Luckily for Goss and his remaining breakaway companion, they had just enough of an advantage to claw their way up the hill ahead of the pack. "It was very close at the end, and at the end I bet there was less than 100 meters gap to the peloton," McGee explained. "The whole team had a hand in this victory today since they were back in the bunch controlling, everyone is working very well together and it’s really been a case of all hands on deck!" Since this is the second stage victory in a row after J.J. Haedo’s win from the day before, Saxo Bank can feel very satisfied with how the race is unfolding for them. "I am not certain just where we are in the GC, but Kroon is high up there for sure," McGee said. With another bumpy ride from Charleroi to Perwez on Tuesday, Saxo Bank will have plenty of opportunities to take full control of the race.

Overall standings after stage 2
1.     VAN DIJK Stefan     9.39.52
2.     BICHOT Freddy     + 0.00
3.     JEROME Vincent     + 0.04
4.     HERMANS Ben     + 0.06
5.     OFFREDO Yoann

Christopher Jones
Christopher Joneshttps://www.bicycles.net.au
Christopher Jones is a recreational cyclist and runs a design agency, Signale. As the driving force behind Bicycles.net.au he has one of each 'types' of bicycles.
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