LAUNCESTON cyclist Matt Goss has been squeezed out of the ORICA-GreenEDGE squad for next week's Tour de France.
The 27-year-old multiple Grand Tour stage winner had been reported as being among the provisional Tour squad but missed the final cut for a team of nine, five of which will be making their debuts in the world's biggest cycle race.
Despite the loss of Goss's explosive sprint finish, sports director Matt White said the Australian team would focus on stage wins, having won two last year, including the team time trial in Nice.
``This year we are going to the Tour without a sprinter for the flat stages and will be targeting numerous stages,'' White said. ``The goal for the team is to walk away with a stage win.''
The nine riders who will line up are team leader and former yellow jersey-wearer Simon Gerrans, fellow Aussies Simon Clarke, Luke Durbridge, Mathew Hayman and former Giro d'Italia leader Michael Matthews, Switzerland's Michael Albasini, Belgian Jens Keukeleire, Canadian Svein Tuft and Brit Simon Yates.
Goss's absence leaves reigning champion Chris Froome's loyal lieutenant Richie Porte, 29, as the only Tasmanian in this year's race, which begins on Saturday.