European champion Matteo Trentin has claimed the first European victory of the 2019 season for Mitchelton-SCOTT today, with an impressive sprint victory on the second stage of the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana.
After a big effort from the team throughout the stage, Trentin knew he needed to finish things off and that his positioning into the final roundabout with 200metres to go would prove crucial.
The 29-year-old took the race on, exiting the roundabout in first position and was able to hold on to take his first win of the season.
In the opening kilometres teams were happy to let a group of eight riders jump ahead, leaving the bunch relaxed to settle into a rhythm, with many riders finding their feet again riding in the peloton.
It was Team Dimension-Data who led the bunch for the first half of the stage, monitoring the distance to the escapees, keeping them within striking distance as they head over two of the three climbs on the day’s menu.
Adding some pressure
As the finish line was drawing closer with around 70kilometres to go, Mitchelton-SCOTT sent two Giro d’Italia stage winners, Mikel Nieve and Esteban Chaves, to the head of the bunch to share the workload with Team Astana, picking up the tempo to try and hurt the legs of the pure sprinters.
Shaping up for a sprint
The peloton came back together again with 50km to go and the race was on for a likely sprint finish. With a combination of twists and turns and wide open sections, the final five kilometres where strung out at a blistering pace led by Team Sky.
Trentin bided his time, moving up into position for the final kilometre, entering the all important final roundabout in prime position to hold on for the victory in Alicante.
“It feels really good, especially because I was working really hard during the whole winter and actually seeing the whole team so committed on this first road stage, the first race for us in Europe, it gave me that extra motivation for sure.”
“I was feeling good, my numbers in training have been alright but numbers and racing are two different things. Today I was never struggling, I was surfing in the wheels and in the final I think I pulled up a really good sprint coming at the right moment, in the right position, so I am really happy.
“We knew that the second position was the maximum position to come out of the roundabout to win the stage. When you leave the roundabout so close to the finish, for sure if you are in fourth position then the guys in front start sprinting and you are still cornering. I preferred to just give it a go as the first guy and I came really fast, so it was a good move.”
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana – Stage 2:
- Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 4:10:12
- Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) ST
- Ben Swift (Team Sky) ST
Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana – General Classification:
- Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension-Data) 4:23:07
- Ion Izaguirre (Astana) +0:05
- Tony Martin (Team Jumbo-Visma) +0:07