Not to be for Mitchelton-SCOTT at Paris-RoubaixSun 14 Apr 2019
European champion Matteo Trentin was the top finisher for Mitchelton-SCOTT at Paris-Roubaix, crossing the line in 43rd place behind winner Philippe Gilbert (DST).
Trentin was on the right side of all the moves for the first 200km of racing, before missing the decisive group with 50km remaining which ended his chances for glory on the famous velodrome.
The first 90km before the much-awaiting first cobbled sector were far from a procession with so many riders and teams desperate to make the initial breakaway of the day.
The attacks were endless, but the combinations never acceptable for the bunch as they continued to chase down everything that tried to escape.
Onto the cobbles:
The intensity only increased on approach to the initial sector, and in combination with cross winds, the peloton split ahead of the Touisvilles a Inchy.
Trentin sat comfortably in the second group on the road before it re-joined the front to make a dangerous group of 20 riders with a 45-second lead on the peloton.
An unfortunate period for Mitchelton-SCOTT saw Trentin puncture out of the front group and co-leader Jack Bauer crash out of the race.
As Trentin picked up the bunch following his puncture, he was brought back to the front as the race came back together with 120km remaining.
The race split again into two big groups on approach to the Arenberg Forest and Trentin again found himself at the front, picking a clear line on the most famous and feared cobbled sector.
The defining moment:
As the race approached the final 50km and three riders hung off the front of the race, counter attacks started to fly from behind.
It proved to be the defining moment of the race as former world champion Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) led a group of favourites across the gap. It formed an elite group of six and those left behind, including Trentin, struggled to return into contention as the deficient hovered around one-minute.
The second group never recovered and, from the front six, Gilbert arrived to the velodrome with Nils Politt (Katusha-Alpecin) in a two-up sprint.
Behind, Trentin lost touch with the chasing group and eventually finished 10minutes down on the race winner.
“I had just one puncture but the wheel from the neutral service was not good on the bike so I prefered to change to one of our wheels at the end of the sector. It didn’t really matter at that point, I was gone from the breakaway and the race came back together.
“I tried to make some moves, but I never really got the right one. Actually, I was making my moves a couple of times and then a break went right after, but it’s like this.
“When the move went I just waited and watched them go. You want to try to pick the right move and sometimes that doesn’t happen.
“But to be honest, I’m quite happy with my performance today. Of course not with the result, but I was working to get back the good legs after last weekend and I felt better today.”
Laurenzo Lapage - Sport Director:
"We had the same situation as with Flanders with Trentin today. For the first 230km we were hoping a lot becuse he was working really well, but he just ran out of legs.
"Our second leader, Jack Bauer had some really bad luck. He crashed with a specatator on sector 27 so his race was over before it even started. I really believe he was our joker card today. He had great form, so it's a shame that we didn't get to see it.
"Overall, the Classics period started badly for us because we lost Luke Durbridge who was a key card to play for us and then also Alex Edmondson. So, two guys who were ready to show what they had in these races, befpore we arrived at the business end.
"Because of that we had to bring in three young neo-pros. Of course it's good experience for them, but everyone knows to race these race at this level with young guys, it's not easy.
"But those young guys, especially Rob Stannard, have already shown they have the skills to race here. Everyone showed why they are in the team, they gave us everything they have and I think we got the maximum that we could have got out of them."
Paris - Roubaix – Results:
1. Philippe Gilbert (Deceuninck – Quick Step) 5:58:02
2. Nils Politt (Katusha Alpecin) ST
3. Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick Step) +0:13
43. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +10:20
Photo courtesy of Getty Images