Hamburg - Germany - wielrennen - cycling - radsport - cyclisme -  Goss Matthew Harley (Team Mtn Qhubeka)pictured during  the Vattenfall-Cyclassics 2015 - photo Cor Vos © 2015
  • Stompin

    Fingers crossed.

    • Nitro


      Really hope he’s able to re-discover the form that facilitated the move up the pro-ranks in the first place.

      I’m assuming that the motivation to prove the nay-sayers wrong / repay the confidence that his new team have placed in him must be pretty high right now…

      P.S. Have to be honest, more than a little jealous of the “phone interview from Monaco” line – and not the part about the phone…

  • TSP

    I don’t rate this guy at all any more. I remember being pretty impressed with his 2011 MSR win, just a gutsy, gutsy effort. But the article above is a litany of excuses, with no mention of the blindingly obvious reason for his demise, even though it’s starkly demonstrated in the banner photo on this article compared with his MSR winning shot – he’s just too fat to be a good bike rider. Fine for cricket or darts maybe, but pro cyclists need to be so much more disciplined on food.

    • Marc


    • jules

      Goss is a legend for what he’s already done I’d say, but sadly I find myself agreeing with you. He gives a lot of excuses in this interview. I hope those are all bluster to keep the media off his back, and that he quietly realises that the key to his success is in his hands. I was looking forward to this interview and hoping that Goss was going to finally do some straight shooting, but I don’t see it there.

      I’ll be cheering him on in 2016, I hope.

    • Will

      Your ability to tell his body fat % from simply looking at 2 different photos from different angels years apart is amazing. Surely you could be using this talent elsewhere.

    • Cynic

      Not sure what he’s done to you?

      Someone living in Monaco and tweeting pics of them driving a Ferrari just makes them flog, but it’s not your issue.

      No need to harp on them.

      Personally, I hope he does win again. If he doesn’t, meh..

      • TSP

        It’s a public board for public opinion about a public figure buddy. I like Matty (I know him, but only in passing) and at the end of his career he will be a Classic winner no matter what. The disappointing thing for the public is that he can’t have the discipline to control his weight so he can deliver on his full potential. Just ask Matty White and Banno if they agree …

    • spicelab

      I seriously doubt that weight is the singular factor preventing him from achieving top level performance.

  • Jessy Vee

    I’ve never met Matt, and didn’t know too much about him before his move to OGE in 2012. His 2011 HTC season was superb, and I feel like that was due to being a bit more of a lesser known rider and being able to target only a handful of races. OGE got it wrong when they put all their eggs in his basket and made him the go-to sprinter for the team. Goss has always seemed (to me) like a good classics and one day rider, rather than a pure sprinter and OGE didn’t nurture his interests. I’d be a little out of sorts as well.

    I read somewhere (probably on CT – maybe in Robbie McEwan’s book) that a rider can realise his top end speed at a young age, and as he gets older, he doesn’t really get much faster; he just becomes more able to deal with long hard days in the saddle and can get to the end of the race fresher. If this was true, were OGE really hoping that Goss would get faster? And why didn’t Goss mention to them earlier, “Hey guys… I don’t think this strategy is working…”?

    • Cynic

      You lost me at “maybe in Robbie McEwan’s book”…

      I read that book, and let me summarise it for you:

      When I won, it was purely because I am awesome.

      When I lost it was because I was robbed, shafted, everyone else’s fault, etc etc.

      Yes, I raced through cycling’s dirtiest era, with sprinters all around me doped to the eyebrows. You can’t expect me to mention that can you? Sure, Lance personally made a space for me on the Radioshack team roster but that’s because I’m awesome.

      Have I told you how awesome I am?

      • Jessy Vee

        Not sure what he’s done to you?

        Someone living in the Gold Coast and tweeting pics of them driving a Ferrari just makes them flog, but it’s not your issue.

        No need to harp on them.


        • Cynic

          Fair enough, but Matt Goss never wrote a book about himself. I’m talking solely about the book.
          Compare Robbie’s with David Millar’s book, two pro’s riding at the same time. Millar was scathing about his own failings, took full responsibility for them as well. Racing, partying and doping, everything was there. Robbie on the other hand..

          • Jessy Vee

            I’m not going to comment on the doping side of things. I’m pretty naive when it comes to all of that. But from a cycling point of view, that first chapter made me want to get back on my bike and race. His ghost writer captured the excitement and nervousness of the moment really well. The rest of the book was boring by comparison, but I still enjoyed it.

            Racing Through The Dark (David Millar) was a different kind of book. It was a confession of sins. It had a different vibe to Robbie’s book and I don’t feel like Robbie was deliberately ignoring or dismissing the drug culture of the time, more that it didn’t have anything to do with the story he wanted to tell and I can respect that from a literary point of view.

            I’m not sure Gossy has enough big wins to put into a book just yet…. Yet!

            • Cynic


    • Dave

      He had the ‘unknown newbie’ factor on his side in 2011, just like Peter Sagan did in the 2011 Vuelta and 2012 TdF when he won three stages in each, only for him to then become a marked man who has taken just two stage wins from his four grand tours since then.

      Or to explain it in terms that Matt Prior would understand, like Ben Stokes who cashed in during the 2013-14 Ashes series while all the experienced players (including Prior) got ruthlessly crushed.

  • Abdu

    The Shane Watson of cycling? Shane Watson is a very talented Aussie cricketer slagged off constantly because he doesn’t live up to the potential. In Watson’s case, it’s really unfair and harsh because he is v professional/prepares well but is really injury prone. Watto Lotto is a joke on Twitter with people guessing when he’ll throw his wicket away.

    This from his DS when he signed with MTN Qhebeka: “Gossy is the sort of person who maybe doesn’t like to absorb that pressure on a regular basis,” Smith explained. I remember thinking that was a really interesting comment from the boss at the start of his time with them. Smith was lauding the guns, guys like Cav, who understood about absorbing that pressure was the way to win. Not a great show of faith from Smith…

    Matthew Goss owes nothing to anyone here, and hopefully he doesn’t read/take any notice of the comments (I have been one of those dismissive of him in the past).

    The back story here is Matt Prior and his team One Pro Cycling, it’s really interesting to have a professional cricketer turn his skills (and money) to cycling. They’re a million miles away in terms of fitness and professionalism, but cricketers’ mental strengths and strategic thinking is often very important.

    If it was Phil Tufnel, the team would be really interesting…

    • jules

      I think you’re spot on with the mental toughness thing. Guys like Cav and especially Lance (yes, Lance) really impress me like that. They would walk over hot coals to get the win. Goss gives the impression it kind of happened to him and was a surprise. I agree it’s unfair that everyone slates him for that – the reality is most people are in that category, it’s just that his talent made him look hungry like those other guys and that’s the expectation now.

    • Dave

      Phil Tufnell would be a walk in the park compared to Kevin Pietersen Pro Cycling inc ;-)

      Speaking of Watto Lotto, did you see this one from last week where he hit the jackpot?

    • Hughesdale

      I disagree with you about professionalism, unless you’re implying that cricket’s fitness and professionalism differs from cycling in opposite directions perhaps.
      No one is holding Warnie, Merv or Taylor up as a paragons of fitness.
      What I’m saying is that professional cycling isn’t the most professional sport out there and maybe the stones are best left un-thrown?

      • Dave

        I would agree that the differences in fitness and professionalism do go in opposite directions with cycling and cricket.

        The good thing for cricket, though, is that it is making great strides forward in its attitude to fitness – a player like one of the three you mentioned but without the international track record would struggle to get even a state-level contract these days, and Cricket Australia were looking at extracting all possible gains from sports science for years before Team Sky even started.

        The same cannot be said for cycling and its approach to professionalism, which appears to be stagnant or even slipping backwards.

      • Abdu

        I’m talking from my experience of sharing a gym with several state and Aus test cricketers, a little perk of where I worked (not a public gym).

        There were several top level players who took their physical conditioning very easy, and did not seem to make the link between skin folds/fitness and being a better player. McDonalds and Red Rooster was part of a few players’ diets. I joined in a few times with their cross fit routines a few times and I should not be mid pack with them (I’m more gruppetto with my bunch).

        Sure, batting requires concentration, form, etc. but it also must require physical stamina. A few of these State & Australian reps appeared only about as fit as me (married/father, hubbard, but trained daily).

        Professional in terms of preparation I’m talking about. Cycling has its old wives tales about food, etc. but the top flight riders are way fitter and better prepared surely?

        • Hughesdale

          Professional preparation is about much, much more than just fitness and diet.
          It’s about identifying the necessary parameters for top level performance, and then relentlessly pursuing improvement in the right areas. Better skin folds don’t necessarily result in better cricket.

  • donncha

    I think he’s just lazy.

    He mentions that his problems this year were that he didn’t allow for his lack of GTs in 2014 and wasn’t prepared at the start of the season.

    Then you go and read the ‘Retiring wasn’t an option’ article from last year and he says that although he didn’t do any GTs in 2014 and that’s a bit of an issue, he has plenty of time to get himself sorted before the start of the 2015 season. Sounds like he didn’t make use of that time…

  • Flash

    Why are people so critical of a guy like this, he busts his arse every yr.
    Sometimes results go your way, sometimes they don’t.
    But you know what any rider that can say at the end of their career – Milan San Remo Winner, is a superstar.
    How many Aussies have won a Monument race ( 3 – O’Grady, Gerrans and Goss).
    I say all the best to you Matt, and good luck for the future.
    I hope there is a few more victories for you.

    • Dave C

      I would like to believe the bad luck story and a sense of nationalism has me barracking for him when I see him in races (which is rarely these days) but I cant argue with the banner pic, he looks overweight. Like Betancur overweight. So much potential only one decent season to show for it. I really hope he turns it around.

  • Sean

    Goss just needs to drop a few KG’s.

  • Jerome

    hopefully wont get banned for making an unfounded accusation, but i have recently been wondering if one day we will learn if there is any more to goss’ 10-11 seasons and haussler’s 09 season. Both riders who had amazing success that was not really seen prior or since

    • jules

      there’s more to success than just doping. it could theoretically be a factor, but it’s not the only conceivable one.

  • Holby City

    Yawn. He’s just not that good. Shame be beat Fabu at MSR all those years ago.

  • velocite

    Fascinating piece Sophie, and some insightful comments – along with a quota of shitty ones. He’s obviously trying to sort himself out, but the remarkable thing is that after nine years as a pro he has not already done so. It’s as though he’s a passenger in his own career, not the one in charge. A stronger young man would have made sure he made the most of his OGE opportunity, rather than allowing himself to be, effectively, mismanaged.

    Great comment from TSP. Apart from all the words, your weight bears witness to your character. There should be a web site with Matt’s weight barometer on it.

    But..I hope under his outside the square new boss he does great things next year, surely his last chance.

  • Sean Doyle

    Matt Goss is obviously a great rider. You don’t win events like MSR by being comparatively average by chance. Yes there is luck in any race but at that level you have to have the goods on race day as well. He has been a bit of a top step no show these last couple of seasons and it appears that maybe OGE were pushing him in the wrong direction. While OGE are a great team with growing success I’m not sure that they are the any different to any other team in how they handle their riders.
    On thing that strikes me as a trend that probably stretches back a few years now is the one day riders, which I think Matt is rather than a Tour sprint rider, are specialising at fewer one day races each year. For sure, Roubaix is a different beast to Liege or Amstel but to have only a few races each year that you are shooting for seems dangerous to the sport. The demise of the old World Cup with the 10 races of Monuments and semi classics was really a great barometer of who the best one day rider for the year was. I know that these days racing has become highly specialised and it was only natural giving the environment and setup that it’s turned out this way. I would love to see the World Cup come back and a real emphasis put back on the overall. That way you may see guys like Goss who a fast all rounders find a new motivation to do well in more races.


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