Trentin 10th after aggressive finale to Milan – San RemoSat 23 Mar 2019
European champion Matteo Trentin has sprinted to 10th place in the first Monument of the season, Milan - San Remo today.
The result equals the Italian’s previous best result at La Primavera (2016), after an aggressive conclusion resulted in the small group finale the Mitchelton-SCOTT team were hoping for.
Pro Conti teams take breakaway ownership:
Ten riders formed the day’s breakaway in the opening 10km of the 291km race. They quickly established a lead of over ten minutes, before it was brought back to between seven to eight minutes for the following hours.
The intensity increased into the final 50km and with 40km remaining, including the final two decisive climbs, the gap was down to one-minute 30seconds and the breakaway started attacking each other.
The decisive climbs:
As the race hit the penultimate climb, the Cipressa, the final breakaway survivor was swallowed up. Despite a hard pace set originally by Deceuninck – Quickstep and later by Astana Pro Team, the bunch crested the peak without major damage.
An attack of the descent increased the pace once again, before eventual winner Julian Alaphilippe (Deceuninck – Quickstep) put in a damaging attack on the final Poggio climb which Trentin was able to close down, alongside five others.
The easiest to ride, the hardest to win:
By the closing three kilometres a few extra riders had managed to bridge to the front group before Trentin fired his final bullet with an attack with two kilometres to go, hoping his rivals would look at each other.
The European champion managed to gain a few metres advantage but there wasn’t enough hesitation from behind as they regrouped for the final sprint.
Matteo Trentin – 10th place:
“The guys rode amazingly for me, I don’t think I saw the wind until the Cipressa. Quickstep decided to ride for Alaphilippe which was just what I wanted. When he went I felt really strong, I could close it ‘easily’, well as ‘easy’ as it can be, but then I was there.
“I was there with the final guys and I thought I would give it a go on the flat and hopefully they would look at each other, they didn’t.
“At the end, my bullet was that one, and it was gone. The legs were what they were, I was on the wheel of Peter Sagan but I think he had also used his legs earlier.”
Matt White – Head Sport Director:
“We knew our best chance to win was to roll the dice on the Poggio, which happened, a very very select group formed over there. Then Matteo rolled the dice again, attacked off the Poggio, and he just needed that moment of hesitation which he didn’t get and that has cost him.
“The team supported him incredibly well and he was able to do what he did because of that.
“It proved again today how hard it is to win. It was the least aggressive Milan – San Remo we’ve seen in a while, probably because it was some of the best weather we get here, and it was the biggest group that arrived at the bottom of the Poggio but also the best split we’ve seen in a while, so it just shows that anything can happen.”
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.