TASMANIA'S WorldTour veteran Matt Goss hopes prioritising next year's Tour de France will earn him a long-awaited stage win in the world's biggest race.
Already preparing for his eighth year in the elite ranks, Goss believes skipping the season's first Grand Tour, the Giro d'Italia, will leave him fresher for its French sibling a few weeks later.
The 2011 Milan-San Remo winner and world championship silver medallist said he was disappointed with his crash and illness-marred 2013 campaign, but learned vital lessons from it.
Goss has a clutch of Tour podium finishes on his CV plus wins in the Grand Tours of Italy and Spain, but failed to finish in the top-10 once over the 21 stages in France last year, the consolation being ORICA-GreenEDGE's victory in the team time trial.
``I think I've made a few mistakes in training,'' Goss told Cycling Central from his European base in Monaco.
``Harder and harder and harder, to be better than I was in 2011, but it's actually been counter-productive. I'm going into races more tired, a little bit buggered to be honest, and then that feeds itself.
``It makes you wonder. You ask yourself why is this happening, I'm training more and I'm not getting anything out of it.''
As most WorldTour riders prepare for a well-earned rest at the end of a gruelling season, the Launceston-born former Exeter High student, who turns 27 in a fortnight, is already planning next season.
``We're going to change the race program a little bit. I've done the Giro and the Tour the last two years and I've never done that before and to be honest it hasn't worked for me.
``You go a bit too hard doing the Giro and then pay for it at the Tour. It's only five, six weeks between the two and you notice with a lot of bike riders, not just sprinters it's hard to back up. So we'll probably change the program and we'll return to what we know works.
``I still think there's definitely a big possibility of winning stages at the Tour de France. It's never going to be easy. The Tour is the Tour. Everyone is specialised, on form.
``But given the right circumstances and if everything goes the way it did a couple of years ago - the way I think it will all go again next year - I don't see why I can't win a stage or a few.
``It gets more and more difficult when there are so many guys who can be up there. So where the bunch is under a 100 riders, and where there's a smaller group that's where I've got to put more focus.
``I'm definitely stronger than what I was in 2011, but I need to regain the confidence in what I'm doing is in fact the right thing, that I am the rider that I've shown I can be.
``After 2011 I expected a lot, and I still kind of do. There's expectation that creates pressure. But the most pressure always comes from yourself.
``I've got quite a bit of experience now. It's about now putting that all to use.''
The London Olympian won a stage of Tirreno-Adriatico in April before crashes and illness began to blight his year and has not ridden competitively since mid-September.