It was a glorious day for Australian team Orica-GreenEdge; Michael Albasini won the 4th stage of Paris-Nice and Matthew Goss was the first to cross the line in the frentic sprint of 2nd stage in Tirreno-Adriatico. Manuel Belletti from Ag2r La Mondiale came second, while Gerald Ciolek of South African pro-continental team MTN Qhubeka came third.
“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 Milan-San Remo next week. It’s definitely a goal for me”, told Goss. The general expectancy was a duel between Mark Cavendish and Andre Greipel but neither of them managed to get a spot in the podium. Peter Sagan opened the sprint with 500 meters to go, Greipel burned himself being forced to open the sprint earlier than desired and Cavendish could not even find an opening in the front.
“I was 30 riders back in the last kilometre but I still fought and had a chance with 300 meters to go, even less than that”, told Cavendish to the press. “I came to the right but the peloton swung on the right at the same moment. I just had to slam my brakes with 200 meters to go and so that was the end of the chance of winning. I feel we could have got a lot more out of that race than we actually did today, but we will try again tomorrow”. With the 2 seconds gain from the intermediate sprint, Cavendish still leads the GC and will keep wearing the “Maglia Azzurra”, Matthew Goss leads the points classification and will wear the red jersey tomorrow and Euskaltel-Euskadi’s Garikoitz Bravo from the breakaway group will wear the green mountains jersey.
Check out Tirreno-Adriatico jersey colors, they are quite different than what is considered the norm.
1. Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) Orica-GreenEdge 5:48:41
2. Manuel Belletti (Ita) AG2R La Mondiale
3. Gerald Ciolek (Ger) MTN-Qhubeka