After his performance at the Australian Road Championships, Matt Goss is shaping up as one of the contenders for the overall title at the Tour Down Under argues Michael Tomalaris.
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7 Apr 2015 - 11:32 PM  UPDATED 13 Apr 2015 - 3:36 PM

While Jack Bobridge rightly received all the accolades for an
outstanding and brilliant solo performance to be crowned Australian
national road champion, it's the form of Matt Goss which may have gone
under the radar ahead of the Santos Tour Down Under.

Debate
continues at whether the challenging Buninyong course is suited to
sprinters. From what I saw last Sunday - it certainly is, and Goss is
testament to that assumption.

The Tasmanian is not your average sprinter, however, certainly not of the Mark Cavendish mould.

He's
not necessarily the type who sits in the peloton for a majority of a
stage before pouncing in the last kilometre after tightly tucking in
behind the wheel of his lead-out man.

Instead Gossy is developing
nicely as a prime candidate for being a Spring Classic specialist or
even an all-rounder capable of snaring the Points jerseys at any of the
Grand Tours.

With that in mind why wouldn't he be a consideration for the the six day TDU?

The
focus on the roads of South Australia by many pundits is expected to be
the highly anticipated showdown between fierce rivals Andre Greipel and
Mark Cavendish.

But I wouldn't be surprised if Goss steps up and challenges the big German in place of his Isle of Man teammate.

After
all Cav has rarely (if ever) raced in the Pro-Tour in January as the
post-Christmas celebrations have previously taken a toll on his
waistline.

Apart from indulging in the festive season, Cavendish
has bigger fish to fry during the course of the year - his mission will
be to try and expand on the 15 stage victories he's already won at the
Tour de France.

So why should he peak six months out from the biggest race on the cycling calendar?

If
Cavendish is not up the early season competition, I'm expecting he'll
to take a backseat and allow Goss to take over the reins and therefore
be the one to challenge Greipel for the stage victories at the TDU.

After
completing 16 laps of the Buninyong course and finishing runner-up on
Sunday, you'd think clearing the lesser challenging Willunga climb twice
would be a walk in the park for Goss.

My early tip is for Goss to win Australia's biggest cycle tour.