Not to be for Mitchelton-SCOTT at the Tour of Flanders

Sun 1 Apr 2018

In a race where a bit of luck can go a long way, there was none in sight for Mitchelton-SCOTT at the Tour of Flanders today.

2018 recruit Matteo Trentin was the team’s top finisher in 45th but he and co-leader Luke Durbridge both suffered from bad luck at crucial times, putting a dampener on their final results. 

Ahead, Niki Terpstra continued Quickstep Floor’s dominance of the Belgian Classics to take a solo victory ahead of Mads Pedersen (Trek Segafredo) and teammate Philippe Gilbert.

Tight leash:
The peloton was on high alert as they rolled out of Antwerpen and their unwillingness to let anyone break away from the bunch made for a hard, fast start to the day as the peloton strung out under the pressure.

Eventually, after 70km of racing, the elastic finally snapped and they allowed for a group of ten riders to move off the front. As Mitchelton-SCOTT kept their powder dry in the peloton behind, the group extended to a five-minute advantage. 

Chase proves costly:
An unfortunate crash making his way back from a nature stop put leader Trentin under pressure ahead of the Muur.

The Italian, supported by teammates, fought on bravely to eventually regain contact with the favourites group 40km later but the energy spent would prove costly and when the action fired up once more he was unable to follow.

Clipping out of contention:
In was the Koppenberg that ended the day for Durbridge as he got caught up behind some chaos that forced him to clip out and walked up the climb to pass the mishap. It was enough to finish the day for the Australian, who was unable to regain contact with the front group and left Trentin alone.

The winning move:
Terpstra used the attack of Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain-Merida) over the top of the Kruisberg to launch his winning move, and when the Italian couldn’t stay on the wheel Tepstra didn’t look back.

Matteo Trentin – 45th position:
“We had nothing that could be called luck today.”

“I stopped to take a pee, when I was riding through the convoy I crashed, just by myself and broke my bike. I have to thank the mechanic of Virtu Concept who helped me at that point. 

“From there it was more than 40km chasing and the team did a really awesome job to bring me back to the bunch but in this race you cannot produce miracles and the last time up the Kwarmont I was lights out.”

Matt Wilson – Sports Director:
“I was surprised how early Quickstep were willing to control the race, it made the start pretty full on and it took a long time for the break to go.” 

“Everything was going quite well until Trentin stopped for a nature break and then as he was chasing back on, he crashed at the worst possible time, 10km before the Muur. We eventually got him back on, but after chasing for 40km the damage is done in your ability to finish in the top group. 

“Durbridge got held up on the Koppenberg and actually had to clip out and walk, so that took him out of the front group. Both of our leaders had some bad luck. 

Results – Tour of Flanders:

1. Niki Terpstra (Quickstep) 6:21:25
2. Mads Pedersen (Trek Segafredo) +0:12
3. Philippe Gilbert (Quickstep) +0:14
45. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelon-SCOTT) +4:10

 Photo courtesy of Getty Images.