Matt Goss (Orica-GreenEDGE) claimed a long overdue victory by winning a bunch kick into Indicatore at the end of the second stage of the 2013 Tirreno-Adriatico.
The Australian was joined on the podium by Manuel Belletti (AG2R La Mondiale) and Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) after a finish in which the three big names of road sprinting finished outside of the top five.
Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-QuickStep) finished fifth, but retained the overall race lead, while Andre Greipel (Lotto-Belisol) was seventh. Cannondale Pro Cycling’s Peter Sagan, the third of the much-fancied trio, was ninth.
Goss last celebrated a win on third stage of the 2012 Giro d’Italia, where Cavendish and then race leader, Taylor Phinney (BMC Racing) were taken out by Roberto Ferrari.
“To come away with the win is great,” said Goss, after claiming victory in Indicatore.
“It’s huge for my motivation and confidence, and it’s hopefully great for the team as well.”
The 26-year-old’s victory was the second for Orica-GreenEDGE that day. In France, Michael Albasini won the fourth stage of Paris-Nice.
Stage two of Tirreno-Adriatico saw the bunch roll out for the first time, after the opening stage team time trial. Heavy rain created treacherous conditions, but a three-man breakaway of Kevin Hulsmans (Fantini Vini-Selle Italia), Cesare Benedetti (NetApp-Endura) and Garikoitz Bravo (Euskaltel-Euskadi) soon went up the road.
The peloton was content to let the trio ride for much of the 232km stage, but with 30km remaining, the pace increased dramatically, thanks largely to the efforts of Cannondale Pro Cycling, who, determined not to be overshadowed by the much heralded first showdown of the season between Cavendish and Greipel, set about delivering Sagan to the line.
The injection of pace strung out the peloton, briefly costing Cavendish a place in the front group, but the efforts of 2012 Dwars Door Vlaanderen winner, Nikki Terpstra, dragged him back into contention.
Lotto-Belisol’s sprint train, brutally efficient in the Tour Down Under, drove forwards in service of Greipel, but Goss and his less-fancied colleagues hung tough to claim the last laugh.
Greipel later took to social media to send his congratulations to Goss, and thanks to his team-mates.
“Thx to @Lotto_Belisol guys for a really fast lead-out again and being there in that chaotic final. No excuses but just didn’t have the legs,” he Tweeted.
Tomorrow’s third stage takes the riders on a rolling 190km parcourse from Indicatore to a downhill finish in Narni Scalo.
Tirreno-Adriatico 2013 – stage two – result
1) Matt Goss (AUS) – Orica-GreenEdge – 5.48.41
2) Manuel Belletti (ITA) – AG2R-La Mondiale
3) Gerald Ciolek (GER) – MTN-Qhubeka
4) Roberto Ferrari (ITA) – Lampre-Merida
5) Mark Cavendish (GBR) O- mega Pharma-QuickStep
6) Arnaud Demare (FRA) – FDJ-BigMat
7) Andre Greipel (GER) – Lotto-Belisol
8) Kristian Sbaragli (ITA) – MTN-Qhubeka
9) Peter Sagan (SVK) – Cannondale Pro Cycling
10) Davide Appollonio (ITA) – AG2R-La Mondiale
1) Mark Cavendish (GBR) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep – 6.08.02
2) Michal Kwiatkowski (POL) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep +2”
3) Niki Terpstra (NED) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep +3”
4) Tony Martin (GER) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep
5) Zdenek Stybar (CZE) – Omega Pharma-QuickStep
6) Giovanni Visconti (ITA) Movistar +14”
7) Alex Dowsett (GBR) – Movistar
8) Juan Jose Cobo (SPA) – Movistar
9) Benat Intxausti (SPA) – Movistar
10) Eros Capecchi (ITA) – Movistar