Trentin blasts to his second victory of the season on stage two in Ruta del SolThu 21 Feb 2019
European champion Matteo Trentin claimed his second victory of the season today, powering to the line to take a close sprint victory ahead of Danny van Poppel (Jumbo-Visma), on the second and longest stage in Ruta del Sol.
It was touch and go, as to whether Trentin could make it to the line before Ivan García Cortina (Bahrain-Merida), who held a small gap in the final few hundred metres after launching his sprint early. In the end, the 29-year-old Italian timed his sprint to perfection, blasting down the final 200metres to pass Cortina and make it win number nine for Mitchelton-SCOTT this season.
Freedom for the breakaway
In the opening kilometres, six-riders were given full freedom by the peloton and quickly formed the day's break. The group worked well together and with a steady, relaxed peloton with 216km in front of them, the escapees were able to gain a maximum advantage of seven-minutes.
The flat first half of the course lent itself to a relaxed chase and it wasn’t until the final 50km when the peloton reeled the leaders back into striking distance, before the catch was finally made with 25km to go.
Climbers riding the front
Riding selflessly, the whole Mitchelton-SCOTT team headed the front of the bunch, taking control of the pace to make the final catch and continue to drive hard up and over the only climb of the day until the final five kilometres.
Mikel Nieve, Esteban Chaves and Simon Yates buried themselves on the front, and with the peloton strung out in one long line and Trentin tucked in the wheels conserving energy, the the scene was set for a bunch sprint.
The final kick
After their work was done, Trentin surfed through the bunch and despite getting boxed in at one point inside the final 800metres, he remained calm and confident and was able to secure his second sprint victory of the year.
Jack Haig, who finished fourth on yesterday’s uphill finish stage, moved up one place to third overall ahead of tomorrow’s 16km individual time trial.
“I think I actually did a really good sprint because it was uphill and I really never slowed down speed, I could switch gears coming up to go harder so I am really happy.”
“Corinta went really far from the finish and with about 150metres to go he slowed down and I knew if I could hit the front with around 250metres then it would be ok. I timed my sprint as best as I could and it finished perfectly.
“It was really nice to have the guys riding on the front today and it is why we have had so many victories this season. It is a little bit like one for all, all for one.
"We saved Jack a little bit of course for his GC ambition but we just decided to smash the climb a little bit. Simon was riding a little bit before and I think having climbers riding on a sprint day and sprinters riding on a climb day, it just shows how we are together and how much we care one another.”
Ruta del Sol - Stage 2:
1 Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 5:55:28
2 Danny van Poppel (Jumbo-Visma) ST
3 Ivan García Cortina (Bahrain-Merida) ST
Ruta del Sol - General Classification after stage 2:
1 Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) 10:19:40
2 Jakob Fugslang (Astana) +0:05
3 Jack Haig (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:05
Photos courtesy of Getty Images