Cycling

Goss targets Tour and Olympics

Australian road cycling sprinter Matt Goss will chase the green jersey as well as stage wins at the Tour de France before chasing gold at the Olympics.

 
Dual target for Goss - CyclingAFP
 

Orica-GreenEDGE team director Matt White, who will also be in charge of the Australian road team at the London Games, says Goss has the durability to handle such a big workload over the next month.

Goss will be the No.1 rider for Orica-GreenEDGE from this weekend when they become the first Australian team to compete at the Tour.

His silver medal at last year's world road championships behind British rival Mark Cavendish also earnt Goss an early nomination for the Olympic road race which is held less than a week after the Tour ends.

Goss will spearhead the five-man Australian road team the day after the Olympics opening ceremony.

"We've been thinking with the Olympics in mind with his whole program all year and we're also thinking about the Tour de France," White said of Goss.

"But it's one thing at a time and the first goal is the Tour.

"Matt is an athlete who can handle a lot of workload, he's not your normal sprinter - he's proved that time and time again.

"I'm confident with the program that we have for Matt, he can achieve the goals he wants to achieve at the Tour de France and the Olympics."

Goss will also not be the only focus for Orica-GreenEDGE or the Olympic road team.

GreenEDGE will also have Australian Simon Gerrans, Swiss Michael Albasini and Dutch rider Peter Weening aiming for stage wins in hillier terrain.

Gerrans or perhaps Stuart O'Grady loom as "plan B" for the Olympic team if the road race splinters on the hilly Box Hill circuit and the expected bunch sprint finish does not happen.

Goss has had a much quieter first half of the season compared to last year, when he scored a breakthrough win in the Milan-San Remo one-day classic.

But he showed his form is building by winning a stage of the May Giro d'Italia.

Unlike other teams, GreenEDGE are openly saying Goss will contest the Tour's green jersey points classification.

"You read a lot of things, that Andre Greipel isn't going to contest the green jersey - if you read every story about Mark Cavendish and what he's going to do, your head would be spinning," White said.

"I don't care what anyone else says, we'll be able to find out who's chasing the green jersey when the first intermediate sprint comes around (in stage one, on Sunday).

"But Matt Goss is one of the athletes in the race who will be chasing the green jersey."

The Tour starts on Saturday with a prologue time trial in the Belgian city of Liege.

 - Eurosport
 
 
 
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