Matt Goss has dismissed claims by British rival Mark Cavendish that he and the Australians raced ‘‘negatively’’ in the Olympic road race, saying Cavendish was just ‘‘frustrated’’ for having lost.
After Kazakhstan’s Alexandr Vinokourov, 38, won the gold medal in the 250km race by outsprinting Colombian Rigoberto Uran in a two-up that left Norway’s Alexander Kirstoff taking the bronze by winning the bunch sprint for third place at eight secs, an upset Cavendish, who finished 29th at 40secs and third in his group after a race that he started as one of the major favourites in, said: ‘‘We did everything we could. The crowd was tremendous the whole way around, but the Aussies just raced negatively ... We didn’t expect any help.
"We rode the race we wanted to ride. We wouldn’t pull the group back on Box Hill. Other teams were content that if they didn’t win, we wouldn’t win. We expected it. If you want to win, you’ve [got] to take it to them.’’
But Goss, who placed 85th and in the same group, said: ‘‘We had a race plan, put someone in the main breakaway (sixth placed Stuart O’Grady). It wasn’t up to us to chase. We gambled on other sprinters teams bringing it back. But they didn’t bring it back. It’s not our problem. We’re not going to chase down our riders.
"That’s racing, isn’t it? He is obviously frustrated that he didn’t get to sprint for the win, but I am frustrated too ... I didn’t get to sprint for the win. But I am a team player. I am happy Stuart (after 230km on attack) has the result. It was a great ride.’’