Editor’s note: Following Matthew Goss’s breakthrough win at Milan-San Remo Saturday, we are re-running a column by Andrew Hood that first ran last week.
Matt Goss (HTC-Highroad) seems to be suddenly making headlines and is poised for yet bigger and better things following his dramatic victory in Tuesday’s sprint at Paris-Nice.
Goss has already popped for four victories so far in 2011 and is ranked No. 1 in the world tour rankings.
“It’s been a perfect start to the years,” Goss said Tuesday. “I can only hope it keeps going for as long as possible.”
Goss will see his chances in the upcoming classics as he moves up in the pecking order at HTC-Highroad. His next major goal will be Milan-San Remo, where he could be the team’s wildcard behind team leader Mark Cavendish.
Goss will have even more opportunities following the departure of German ace André Greipel to Omega Pharma-Lotto. Goss slots into the team’s second sprinter behind Cavendish and his favorite lead-out man, Mark Renshaw.
Despite his relatively young age of 24, Goss is hardly a new kid on the block. Like most of his compatriots, Goss got his start on the track, before turning pro with CSC in 2007. Following a few stage victories at the Tour of Britain in his first two seasons, Goss popped for victory at Paris-Brussels in late 2009.
HTC picked him up for the 2010 season when Goss made his grand tour debut with a stage victory at the Giro d’Italia. He flew to the United States where he took the flowers at Philadelphia in June before winning a stage at the Tour of Denmark and his biggest win to date with the GP Ouest France-Plouay.
HTC sport director Alain Peiper said Goss has the top-end speed of a sprinter but has the depth and strength to develop into a classics powerhouse.
Goss seems to be hitting his stride in his fifth pro season and could be one of the breakout riders of this year’s spring classics season.