Inside Cycling with John Wilcockson: Why 2011 was the year of the underdog

  • By John Wilcockson
  • Published Oct. 25, 2011


Goss had no problem stepping in for Cavendish at Milan-San Remo. Photo: Graham Watson |

When Mark Cavendish missed the split at Milan-San Remo in March, his HTC team directors put all their eggs in the Goss basket. And the young Aussie showed he was more than ready to step up from his normal domestique role to become a true leader.

After all, in the past two seasons he had won two lesser European classics, Paris-Brussels and the GP de Plouay, and the confidence he took from those wins (along with the stage wins he’d just scored at Paris-Nice, the Tour of Oman and Tour Down Under) gave him added confidence and strength to stay with the winning move on the last climb, the Poggio. But Goss also showed he had a leader’s savvy by biding his time in the run-in while more experienced men reacted to every acceleration; he then he used his great finishing speed to hold off Cancellara and Gilbert to win the Classicissima.

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