Ninth for Trentin on the opening stage in Paris-Nice as Yates finishes safely in fourteenth spot

Sun 4 Mar 2018

Matteo Trentin sprinted to ninth place on a short rainy opening stage in Paris-Nice today with general classification hopeful Simon Yates finishing in fourteenth place to remain in contention overall.

The final two kilometres of the stage averaged five percent on pavé road, which led to a fast and furious sprint finish and a close photo finish between four riders, with Arnaud Demare (FDJ) coming out on top as the day’s winner.

Breakaway trio

In the opening stages of the 135kilometre chilly day in Chatou, three riders Pierro Rolland (EF-Drapac), Pierre-luc Perichon (Fortuneo-Samsic) and Jurgen Roelandts (BMC) braved the conditions and headed away from the comfort of the peloton to established the main breakaway of the day.

The trio never gained more than a three minuite advantage with the peloton controlling the distance all day, until they were finally brought back ahead of a sprint finish with just 14kilometres to go.

Hectic finale

Along wet roads, the fast paced bunch navigated road furniture and round-abouts as team’s set up their sprinters before a crash caused some splits in the group. Mitchelton-SCOTT worked to remain towards the front of the peloton keeping Yates safe in a good position and setting up Trentin for the bunch kick.

Things were looking good with Trentin coming into the final pavé drag in a good position, before he was squeezed to one side and lost some momentum. The sprint started and six riders crossed the line two seconds ahead of the main front group which included Trentin (9th), Simon Yates (14th), Esteban Chaves (16th) and Roman Kreuziger (19th).

Matteo Trentin - 9th place on stage 1

“I was feeling good the whole day, the guys rode perfectly, we were always there in the front riding good position with Mat Hayman and Chris Juul-Jensen doing a big part of the job. We knew in the final it was going to be punchy and not super easy, I was there in good position into the last corner but then just got boxed, nearly crashed and had to stop and then restart from almost standing still." 

“Starting again from this I could gain some speed, but it was over already with the cobbles and sprint, but I am happy, it is the first day and the legs feel like they are turning as they should be.”

“We had the plan to stay up the front with Simon and myself and we knew we needed to be up the front for the final corner, that was the plan and I think we did that perfectly.”

Dave McPartland - Sport Director

“We had two goals with looking after Simon for the general classification and to try with Matteo in the final and it was looking really good with riders in a good position coming. Matteo just lost some momentum getting squeezed just when they began launching the sprint."

“That was just unfortunate he got closed in on the wrong side of the road, but in general the day went well, Simon lost just two seconds on six guys but it is a good start, we had a good go and we remain up there GC wise.”

Paris-Nice stage one results:

1. Arnaud Demare (FDJ) 3:07:39
2. Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) ST
3. Christophe Laporte (Cofidis-Solutions Credit) ST
9. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:02

General classification after stage one:

1. Arnaud Demare (FDJ) 3:07:29
2. Gorka Izagirre (Bahrain-Merida) +0:04
3. Christophe Laporte (Cofidis-Solutions Credit) +0:06
12. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:12

Photo courtesy of Getty Images