SIMON Gerrans is confident Matt Goss is in the right shape to complete a team hat-trick at this weekend's first monument race of the cycling season.
The Australian teammates have won the last two editions of Milan-San Remo, and ORICA-GreenEDGE is making no secret that Goss represents plan A for the longest race on the calendar in the early hours of Sunday morning.
"The way I won last year is rare," Gerrans said.
"Milan-San Remo isn't often won by a breakaway that forms in the closing kilometres of the race. Obviously, it can happen and if it does, we know that I can win in that type of situation. In that regard, we have a couple of cards to play.
"(But) our main card, our ace, is that we've got Gossy in great shape."
The eight-rider squad will be devoted to ensuring the Launceston sprinter is well positioned after 298 kilometres to return his name to an illustrious list of winners including Mark Cavendish, Fabian Cancellara, Filippo Pozzato, Alessandro Petacchi, Mario Cipollini, Laurent Jalabert, Laurent Fignon (twice), Oscar Freire (three times), Erik Zabel (four) and Eddy Merckx (seven).
In 2011, Goss outsprinted the likes of Cancellara and Philippe Gilbert to give Australia its first win in the 102nd running of the race.
Claiming a stage of last week's Tirreno-Adriatico has his team confident that the 26-year-old can claim his second San Remo crown.
The bulk of the San Remo squad played a part in the Tirreno-Adriatico stage win. Baden Cooke, Jens Keukeleire and Gerrans were the only three to race Paris-Nice while Daryl Impey, Jens Mouris, Sebastian Langeveld, Stuart O'Grady and Svein Tuft joined Goss in Italy.
Gerrans said Impey had proved to be Goss's most reliable last lead-out man, so should retain that role.