Matthew Goss (Orica-GreenEdge) won stage 2 of Tirreno-Adriatico on Thursday in Indicatore, Italy.
Manuel Belletti (Ag2r La Mondiale) was second, with Gerald Ciolek (MTN-Qhubeka) third.
“It’s definitely nice to get it out of the way nice and early,” said Goss of his first win of the season. “This is my first road race in Europe this season and I’ve won, so I’m looking forward to the rest of the season now. I know if I’m in good shape I can do a good Milano-Sanremo next week. It’s definitely a goal for me.”
Mark Cavendish (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) finished fifth, behind Roberto Ferrari (Lampre-Merida), and maintained his overall lead in the 232km leg from San Vincenzo to Indicatore.
FDJ led a soggy peloton inside of 10km to go. The French squad worked hard to position Arnaud Demare, but the effort was too early and Cannondale took control of the front of the race with just over 5km remaining. André Greipel’s Lotto train moved up the right side of the road, eager to take the point, but not too early. Vacansoleil-DCM moved to the front with 1km remaining and lifted the pace, stringing the peloton out, but Lotto took to the front under the 1km banner.
Peter Sagan (Cannondale) opened the sprint inside 500 meters to go. Ciolek moved up his right hip, but it was Goss who surged late the take the win.
Cavendish, who often speaks of his leadout riders more highly than himself, said he was disappointed in his Omega Pharma teammates.
“I don’t know, really … I should have been in the front and I come into a bunch of chaos,” he said. “We come into the last kilometer in 30th position. I’m pretty disappointed in those last guys today, actually. I had a lot of ground to make up.
“I’m quite disappointed with my leadout today. It’s not often that I say that, but I think we’ll have to have words tonight.”
Tirreno-Adriatico continues Friday with the 190km third stage from Indicatore to Narni Scalo.