PezCycling News - What's Cool In Pro Cycling : PEZ Talk: Plouay Winner Matthew Goss

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PEZ Talk: Plouay Winner Matthew Goss
The last time we spoke to Columbia-HTC’s Matt Goss, he’d just won a race which one day may become a classic – Philly. On Sunday past he won a race which is a classic in all but name – the GP Ouest France Plouay. The 23 year old Australian wasn’t long back at his Monaco home when he took time to tell PEZ about the best win of his career.


PEZ: Nice one, Matt – but you had to keep French TV right, didn’t you?
Yeah, they said; ‘congratulations on being the first Australian to win in Plouay.’ But I thought; ‘wait a minute, I think Gerro (Simon Gerrans) won here last year, didn’t he?’


PEZ: It’s a tough one, isn’t it, 4,150 metres of climbing?
Very – they added a lap to take the distance to 248 kilometres to try to avoid a bunch sprint. As for the climbing, I guess that’s getting on for the total you’d get in a Grand Tour medium mountain stage. It’s a race that suits me, though – constantly up and down, positioning is very important, you have to be in the right place at the right time and always conscious of saving energy.





PEZ: Was Plouay a specific target?
Not really, I was sick going in to it and wasn’t good in the Italian races; I actually thought about asking the team if I could miss it – but I came good, just in time.


PEZ: The early break went to nearly quarter-of-an-hour, were you worried?
No, there were only eight or so guys and it’s a long hard race – and when the bunch reacts in the final laps they’ll take a lot of time out of the break in a short time.


PEZ: That late break looked dangerous.
They had a chance, but they went with more than a lap to go – that’s a long way on that circuit at that stage of the race. I was a little worried but Garmin took up the chase and that climb on the highway is so long and straight that it’s hard for the break to get out of sight.





PEZ: Tell us about the sprint.
I had good position over the climb and also over the little uphill with around two K to go. I was setting up my own sprint when Tyler Farrar came past on Maurilo Fischer’s wheel, I was lucky because they went early and I got onto them. I had a good momentum and just went for it off them.


PEZ: It looked like you went very early.
I’m not sure what distance I went from but I had good momentum and you have to use it; in the last 300 if you hesitate you’ll get swamped and the race is over, – sometimes you just have to bite the bullet and go!


PEZ: Tyler’s scalp on the belt is a big one.
I was just happy to get the win, it was great for my confidence.



Matt Goss has been on solid form of late – here he is taking a sprint victory at the Tour of Denmark.


PEZ: Plouay is Heartland with a great history – since 1931.
It’s certainly the most spectators I’ve seen at a one day race; the paddock was just packed with camper vans. It’s a cool race; apart from the Worlds, there aren’t that many races on a circuit like that. It’s only the second time I’ve ridden it, but I’ll be back.


PEZ: How does it rate with the pros?
Any one day race at Pro Tour level is a very good result to have on your palmares. It’s wearing on for being as hard as an Ardennes Classic.



Goss snagged a great win at the Giro in May.


PEZ: Your best win?
Yeah, it rates above my Giro stage – in a Grand Tour you have several opportunities to win a stage, but you only get one chance at a Classic.


PEZ: You had a good break after the Giro.
I didn’t race for eight weeks; I went to Livigno in Italy and did good training at altitude. At that time of year there are always plenty of guys to train with up there – Richie Porte and Baden Cooke were there, this year. I came back for San Sebastian but wasn’t special there, I came round for Denmark and won a stage there


PEZ: What’s next?
The Vuelta, then the Worlds, hopefully [Ed. As of yesterday, Goss's place on the Australian Worlds team is official].



Goss enjoying success with teammate Mark Renshaw, who took a hard earned win at the Tour of Denmark.


PEZ: You must have set yourself up as a Worlds favourite?
I think it will be a similar race to Plouay but there are a lot of good Aussie riders who want to do well – we’ll see who comes out of the Vuelta in good shape.

It definitely won’t be a big bunch of 120, more like 60 or 70, maybe less. The weather at that time of year in Melbourne is impossible to predict and if it’s wet and windy then it’s possible that only 80 to 100 guys will get to the circuit, after the start leg.


PEZ: Do the Commonwealth Games figure?
No, no – my season finishes with the Worlds, then I’ll spend a bit of time in Australia.


PEZ: You were a good rider in 2009 – this year you’re one of the best.
I think it’s down to experience, you learn more and more as you go through your career and I’ve taken a lot on board in the last 12 to 18 months.


***
He certainly has – we’ll be keeping an eye on Mr. Goss during the Vuelta.


 

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