Goss win overshadowed by Ferrari pile-up

Felix Lowe Columnist

By Felix Lowe, Felix Lowe is a Roar Expert

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    Unaware of the mass carnage behind him, Australia’s Matthew Goss opened GreenEDGE’s Giro account in the Danish town of Horsens on Monday.

    As world champion Mark Cavendish (Team Sky) hit the deck after some outrageously reckless sprinting from Italy’s Roberto Ferrari (Androni Giocatelli), Goss was well on his way to making history in becoming GreenEDGE’s first Grand Tour stage winner since the team’s inception this January.

    Following a string of second places in the recent Tour of Turkey, Goss entered the Giro with his form on the rise.

    The 25-year-old came closest to beating Cavendish on the first road stage of the Giro on Sunday and so Goss entered stage three as his former HTC-Columbia team-mate’s main rival for the win.

    An expert lead out by his GreenEDGE team-mates put Goss in pole position going into the final straight.

    Goss didn’t disappoint, holding off Argentina’s Juan Jose Haedo (Saxo Bank) and the American Tyler Farrar (Garmin-Barracuda) to take the second Giro stage win of his career – and his first major win for GreenEDGE.

    Sadly for Shayne Bannen’s men, however, the story of the day wasn’t GreenEDGE’s win but Cavendish’s crash and the near-withdrawal of race leader Taylor Phinney (BMC).

    Following Farrar’s wheel and spotting a small gap, Italian sprinter Ferrari veered irresponsibly to his right, giving Cavendish no room to maneouvre and swiping out the world champion’s front wheel at top speed.

    A huge pile-up ensued, with Cavendish landing heavily on his left shoulder before being run over by two bright yellow Farnese Vini riders as he slid along the road, ripping his red points jersey to shreds and roadrashing his body.

    In the melee of bike frames and sprawling bodies, race leader Phinney also hit the deck, landing heavily on his ankle.

    While Cavendish would get up and carry his bike across the finish line, Phinney stayed down, the 21-year-old entering an ambulance for treatment before finally finishing the stage and, rather gingerly, mounting the podium to pick up a much-needed new pink jersey.

    There was no podium appearance for Cavendish, however; the Team Sky lynchpin lost his red points jersey to Goss, who would surely have preferred to take the accolade in different circumstances.

    Ferrari, after his hit and run, finished fourth – but the Italian was soon relegated to the back of the field by the race jury.

    With Geraint Thomas, Cavendish’s team-mate, leading the calls for the explusion of Ferrari from the race on Twitter, it remains to be seen if the Italian will be part of Androni’s squad when the race resumes with a team time trial around Verona on Wednesday.

    Cavendish was understandably angry with the Italian, tweeting: “Ouch! Crashing at 75kph isn’t nice! Nor is seeing Roberto Ferrari’s maneouvre. Should be ashamed to take out Pink, Red and World Champ jerseys.”

    Like Thomas, Cavendish later called for Ferrari to be sent home from the race.

    Australian Mark Renshaw, who rode with both Cavendish and Goss at HTC, avoided the crash to take fifth place in the sprint. Renshaw later described Ferrari’s kamikaze swerve as “one wild move” before suggesting that he himself had been sent home for less – referring to his infamous headbutting incident from the 2010 Tour de France.

    Of course, ostensibly deliberate violent conduct is not viewed in the same light as reckless sprinting – even if the upshot of Renshaw’s butt was far less than the blood bath caused by Ferrari’s moment of madness.

    As one respected cycling blogger said: “To put it another way, you can carve up riders at 70km/h and provoke multiple injuries and one rule applies, but pinch another rider or pull their hair and another rule applies.”

    Despite the drama in Horsens, Goss was quite rightfully ecstatic with his victory. “It’s great to win here in a pure bunch sprint and I’m very happy for the team,” the Tasmanian said.

    And yet can stage three’s finale be described as a pure bunch sprint? Goss certainly had the edge in the closing few hundred metres, but Cavendish, after some bad positioning, looked to be returning fast. The world champion may not have had enough road in front of him to catch Goss, but he would have pushed him right to the end.

    The truth is that both sprint finishes in Denmark – Cavendish’s win in stage two and Goss’s one day later – were hampered by nasty accidents.

    In what is shaping up to be an intriguing Giro, it will be interesting to see who the fastest man is once the former team-mates come head-to-head in a finish not affected by the sound of twisted metal.

    Felix Lowe
    Felix Lowe

    Felix Lowe is an English photographer, writer and Arsenal fan with a penchant for pro-cycling. Eurosport writer and blogger, Felix has covered the major cycling races in the pro calendar for the past decade and is now taking up the sport himself, at the ripe age of 31.

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    The Crowd Says (15)

    • Columnist

      May 8th 2012 @ 8:07am
      Tim Renowden said | May 8th 2012 @ 8:07am | ! Report

      Shocking riding from Ferrari – an example of a pro continental rider desperate to prove himself on the big stage completely screwing it up?

      The Orica Greenedge guys worked beautifully though, great stuff to win their first grand tour stage 🙂

    • Roar Guru

      May 8th 2012 @ 9:37am
      Bones506 said | May 8th 2012 @ 9:37am | ! Report

      Solid read.

      Goss was exceptionally well positioned and I believe he would still have held off Cav had Ferrari not been such a clown. Goss really kept the hammer down right to the line.

      Thrilled for Orica-GreenEDGE and Gossy.

      Stage 3 was def a bunch sprint. The crash was about 100m out from the line and the sprint started at about 300m.

      I think Felix means to say ‘cracking Carbon’ rather than twisted Metal! Who owns a metal bike these day! hahahaha

      • Columnist

        May 8th 2012 @ 9:44am
        Tim Renowden said | May 8th 2012 @ 9:44am | ! Report

        I have two metal bikes, Bones! If steel was good enough for Merckx…

        Admittedly, I’m not a pro.

        • Roar Guru

          May 8th 2012 @ 10:55am
          Bones506 said | May 8th 2012 @ 10:55am | ! Report

          hahaha. Fair point. They are great for touring on.

          The sound of carbon cracking is not an enjoyable one if it is your own – I crashed my new bike in its first crit. Not cool.

          • Columnist

            May 8th 2012 @ 12:29pm
            Tim Renowden said | May 8th 2012 @ 12:29pm | ! Report

            Touring? Look, I may have a beard but I’m not *that* old.

            • Roar Guru

              May 8th 2012 @ 1:25pm
              Bones506 said | May 8th 2012 @ 1:25pm | ! Report

              ha ha ha.

              Hasn’t Ferrari made a name for himself for all the wrong reasons. Cav will look to really hunt him next hit out.

              The final sprint is close to the most chaotic thing I can think of so crashes are a part of that. Racers don’t like it but except it is a part of the game. It is another thing to completely deny any wrong doing and not apologise.

              Poor form from Ferrari.

      • Columnist

        May 8th 2012 @ 6:11pm
        Felix Lowe said | May 8th 2012 @ 6:11pm | ! Report

        Haha, yes, good spot Bones! Cracking Carbon is much better – not to mention factually correct. Did you see the Farnesi Vini rider bunny hop Cav at top speed – superb bike handling there. I still think Cavendish was returning fast on the leaders – Goss may have held on, but Cavendish could have got second, setting it up nicely after two sprints. Lucky for the wounded, they have pretty much two days off now. I wouldn’t want to be in the Androni team during the air transfer to Italy… it would be poetic justice if Ferrari loses his bags.

    • Columnist

      May 8th 2012 @ 2:44pm
      Tim Renowden said | May 8th 2012 @ 2:44pm | ! Report

      Interesting tweet from Robbie McEwen: “my take on Giro st3 crash. Incredibly reckless riding by Ferrari but unintentional. In footbal terms, yellow card him, 2nd offence, red card”

      • Roar Guru

        May 8th 2012 @ 3:51pm
        Bones506 said | May 8th 2012 @ 3:51pm | ! Report

        Inclined to agree with his views – esp on the Red carding if he repeats

      • Columnist

        May 8th 2012 @ 6:12pm
        Felix Lowe said | May 8th 2012 @ 6:12pm | ! Report

        Yeah, seems about right – although it would have been nice for Ferrari to have shown some contrition. He just shrugged his shoulders and effectively said that what goes on behind him is of no concern.

    • May 8th 2012 @ 7:20pm
      liquorbox_ said | May 8th 2012 @ 7:20pm | ! Report

      I did not like Cavs comments “Should be ashamed to take out Pink, Red and World Champ jerseys” What does it matter which jersey you posess? The important thing is he took out a rider, not which jersey he took out

    • May 9th 2012 @ 12:02pm
      Jimbo said | May 9th 2012 @ 12:02pm | ! Report

      Great effort by the Green Edge boys here, they are surpassing all expectations this season. However, I am sure we will have an article from Phil Anderson on the Roar in the next few days claiming that this season will be a failure for GreenEdge unless they have a grand tour winner, or whatever…

    • May 9th 2012 @ 2:28pm
      tommy said | May 9th 2012 @ 2:28pm | ! Report

      My memory is a bit hazy but didn’t Cav take out Haussler in a pretty reckless move right on the finishing line a couple of years ago? How bad was that incident & did Cav apolagise for it?

      • Columnist

        May 9th 2012 @ 6:13pm
        Felix Lowe said | May 9th 2012 @ 6:13pm | ! Report

        Yep, the truth is that it’s swings and roundabouts with bunch sprinting. Cav has been in Ferrari’s position before and everything happens so fast, who’s to say it won’t happen again. But I think the difference is that Cav probably admitted he was wrong. That said, it is being reported today that Ferrari will make a full apology to Cavendish, Phinney etc. But the way he reacted initially suggests it’s rather because his team has forced him into it. Time will tell. The guy clearly didn’t want to cause a pile up, but his reckless swerve did just that. It was silly – if he had actually gone to the left and not the right, he would have had a better path anyway.

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