Team train full steam ahead

MATT Goss is confident his team train is on the right tracks.

Embarking on his second season with Australian-based Orica-GreenEdge, the Launceston cyclist believes the sprint train expected to deliver him race victories has learned some valuable lessons.

Although Lotto-Belisol dominated the Tour Down Under WorldTour opener last week, Goss said the well-drilled leadout of German Andre Greipel represented a positive sign for his own team.

``Lotto in their first year they had nearly all the same guys they're using now and couldn't put it together properly,'' the 26-year-old told British publication Cycling Weekly . 

``It's taken a bit of time getting it to where it is now and that's what we're doing now. I'm hoping through this year we really get the results of 12 months of experience coming together and by the time we get to the Tour (de France) I think we should be at the same point they were at 12 or 18 months ago.

``You have to have as much energy saved up in that last 10 kilometres as possible. Once we get it worked out right I can sit there, not be thinking and just kind of pedalling behind them knowing we're in the right position.

``It's not so much the physical energy you save, it's the mental energy you save.''

Instead of a lengthy return home to Tasmania, Goss has spent most of the preseason at his European base in Monaco and is confident that he is back to his Milan-San Remo-winning form.

``When I ran second (at Down Under) a couple of years ago I'm about a kilo lighter than that,'' he said. ``The shape is pretty good. I'd like to be down a little bit more before we get to San Remo and those races but I'm happy with where it is now. I stopped racing in September so I'm really missing that intensity and I'm hurting a little bit but I still definitely think it's coming up.''

 Goss will compete at next month's Tour of Oman as well as Tirreno-Adriatico, Milan-San Remo, Spring Classics and the Giro d'Italia.

He believes last year's San Remo winner, teammate Simon Gerrans, may be focusing more on the Ardennes Classics opening the door for another tilt at the monument, providing the train is ready.

``What I think we miss a little bit in our leadout train is experience. I'm probably the most experienced guy in that type of racing. 

``We're a young leadout and trying to get it to work. It's going to take time.''


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