Matthew Goss Wins 2011 Cancer Council Classic
Matt Goss and Mark Renshaw scoop top-2 places for Team HTC-HighRoad in 2011 Cancer Council Classic ahead of Team RadioShack's Robbie McEwen.
Sprinters Matt Goss and Mark Renshaw got Team HTC-HighRoad's 2011 season off to a brilliant start when they scooped the top two places in the 2011 Cancer Council Classic on Sunday. Australian new-signing Robbie McEwen of Lance Armstrong's Team RadioShack produced a remarkable ride for third after being stopped by a crash 500 meters from the finish.
The crash brought down last year's criterium winner Greg Henderson and disrupted tactical team rides that attempted to set up the race for glamor sprinters Mark Cavendish of Britain and Omega Pharma-Lotto's Andre Greipel of Germany, the 2010 Tour Down Under champion.
Greipel recovered to finish 15th, Team Garmin-Cervelo's American Tyler Farrar finished 11th, but Cavendish dropped back to 108th, 30 seconds behind the winner.
After winning two stages and the overall of the Jayco Bay Classic series earlier this year, Goss started the 51 kilometer city centre event in Adelaide, Australia as top favourite, and he duly blasted to a convincing sprint victory with team-mate and lead-out man Mark Renshaw in second place.
"It's a great way to start the season with a win for the team," Goss said afterwards, "January has been really good to me. With the guys that we have here, we have so much strength, all I really had to do was sprint.
"Grabshi [Bert Grabsch] and Danny [Pate] did a great job bringing back the break and [Mark] Renshaw did the perfect job getting me and Cav [Mark Cavendish] into the right position."
Team HTC-Highroad had co-led the chase of four breakaways during the entire race, with Renshaw and Goss avoiding a big crash close to the finish.
"The plan was for Cav to sprint off Renshaw's wheel and for me to be on Cav's wheel to give us a couple of options. But on the last lap there was a crash and Cav had to brake a little, so I got onto Renshaw's wheel and he took me all the way to the line.
"Cav didn't go down and probably could have got back on the wheels, but he saw that a gap had opened so he left it open."
Looking ahead to the Tour Down Under stage race, which starts Tuesday, Goss added, "this win is a great start for us, but we've not begun the actual Tour yet. So we'll take it one day at a time and hopefully we can continue the way we have started."
Robbie McEwen, a 12-time stage winner at the Tour de France and a three-time winner of the tour's sprint classification, distinguished his first ride for Armstrong's team with his recovery from a seemingly impossible situation to share the podium with his fellow Australians.
"It was a good result from the position I came from and promising for the rest of the week," McEwen said.
"Had it not happened, I reckon I could have won. But for the first result of the year and considering being stopped with 500 meters to go, it was as good as a win."