Affini storms to his first professional time trial victory at the OVO Energy Tour of Britain

Thu 12 Sep 2019

23-year-old neo-pro Edoardo Affini had a phenomenal ride today to claim his first professional individual time trial victory, on stage six of the OVO Energy Tour of Britain.

The Italian was the first rider down the ramp for Mitchelton-SCOTT and spent almost the entire stage waiting nervously in the hot-seat, with many experienced race favourites unable to beat his time.

Affini showed maturity beyond his years to pace his effort well and produce a faster second-half than many others, which proved crucial to claiming the stage win, with his closest rival finishing seven-seconds slower.

Teammate and fellow Italian Matteo Trentin started the day in the race leader’s jersey, but Mathieu van der Poel  (Corendon-Circus) stole back the overall lead by producing a time nine-seconds faster. Trentin now sits in second place overall just six-seconds down on Van der Poel with two-stages remaining.

An Early Leader

As the 12th rider to start the stage, Affini blasted around the flat 14.4kilometre TT course, pacing his effort well to cross the line with a time of 16minutes and 39seconds. Despite riding on the front of the bunch during the previous road stages to defend the leader’s jersey, the youngster headed straight into the hot-seat and watched on, as riders completed the distance but seemingly unable to better his time.

British champion Alex Dowsett (Katusha-Alpecin) was the first rider to really threaten his lead, heading through the intermediate time check one-second faster. Many other riders then started to beat Affini’s intermediate time split, but by the time they reached the finish line, their times were all slower, with Affini proving to have a stronger second-half.

The GC Battle

Another stage favourite, Australian champion Luke Durbridge, completed the distance with a time of 16minutes 47seconds, which was good enough for fourth place and then the wait began for the final rider Trentin to start.

Trentin began the day with a three-second buffer over his nearest rival and gave it everything, eventually crossing the line with a time of 17minutes. Van der Poel went nine-seconds fast which was just enough to steal the race lead back from the Italian, as the leader’s jersey swaps shoulders for another day.

Edoardo Affini - Stage Winner

"It is a really special victory and I am really happy with it. It was probably more stressful to wait in the hot-seat than to do the TT.

“There are strong riders here, more or less we know each other and we know who is really strong in the TT event, but I managed to do a good TT and pace myself well.

"I was really able to give everything on the way back home and I am really happy to win.”

Matteo Trentin - Second Place Overall

“I think I did the best I could, I was expecting to lose a little bit and six-seconds is not the end of the world but it is going to be hard to take it back. 

"There’s two-days to go and it is getting harder and harder everyday."

OVO Energy Tour of Britain - Stage 6 Results:
1. Edoardo Affini (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 16:39
2. Sebastian Langeveld (EF Education First) +0:07
3. Dylan van Baarle (Team Ineos) +0:07

OVO Energy Tour of Britain - General Classification:
1. Mathieu van der Poel  (Corendon-Circus) +21:50:49
2. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:06
3. Pavel Sivakov (Team Ineos) +0:24

Photo courtesy of Getty Images