Involved in an eight man selection heading into the finale, the 24-year old displayed all the guile of a well seasoned veteran to position himself before unleashing the same kind of devastatingly decisive sprint that had already garnered him victories at this year’s Paris-Nice, Tour of Oman, and Tour Down Under.
On the line, the Tasmanian fastman would leave notables such as Fabian Cancellara (Leopard Trek), Philippe Gilbert (Omega Pharma-Lotto), Alessandro Ballan (BMC Racing Team), and former winner of the event, Filippo Pozzato (Katusha Team) simply lurching at air.
The victory was easily the biggest win of Goss’ young career and a first for Australia. In fact, the HTC-Highroad rider became only the fourth rider from an Anglo nation to win La Classicissima; the last being his teammate Mark Cavendish in 2009.
“I really didn’t expect to win,” an emotional Goss told Cyclingnews afterwards. “I just did what I needed to do. I managed to stay in front and even though I was without teammates, I managed myself well.”
Cancellara, who came on strongest at finish, would finish in second, with Gilbert rounding out the day’s podium.
1. Matthew Harley Goss (Aus) HTC-Highroad
2. Fabian Cancellara (Swi) Leopard Trek
3. Philippe Gilbert (Bel) Omega Pharma-Lotto
4. Alessandro Ballan (Ita) BMC Racing Team
5. Filippo Pozzato (Ita) Katusha Team
6. Michele Scarponi (Ita) Lampre – ISD
7. Yoann Offredo (Fra) FDJ
8. Vincenzo Nibali (Ita) Liquigas-Cannondale
9. Greg Van Avermaet (Bel) BMC Racing Team
10. Stuart O’Grady (Aus) Leopard Trek
Photo: AP/Marco Trovati