Trentin gets up for third on stage one of the Tour of Gunagxi

Thu 17 Oct 2019

Italian Matteo Trentin sprinted to third place on the opening stage of the Tour of Guangxi in Beihai as the day ended in the expected bunch kick finale.

Mitchelton-SCOTT took control in the closing kilometres to lead out the form European champion, but the 30-year-old didn’t have the pace to match the pure sprinters in the field and was forced to settle for third.

Routine Start

It was a routine start to the race as a small group of three riders formed the breakaway in the early stages. The trio were never allowed much of an advantage as the sprint teams controlled the gap and began to bring them back as the final lap approached.

The remains of the breakaway were eventually hauled back by the peloton with 30 kilometres remaining with counter attacks launching immediately. Neo-pro Edoardo Affini was tasked with covering the moves for Mitchelton-SCOTT as the attacks failed to get away.

Riders continued to attack as the sprint teams struggled to take control of the bunch and the pace was high as the pack raced up the short climb on the final. This time Trentin was on marshalling duty with another short-lived attack quickly being closed down by the peloton.

Uncontrollable Finish

However, the attacks didn’t relent, and two riders managed to clip off the front inside the final 10-killometres. The bunch struggled to get organised, but the attackers were eventually brought back inside three kilometres to go as a sprint finish looked inevitable.

Mitchelton-SCOTT then took control of the pack with Affini driving a strong tempo for teammate Trentin. 2020 signing Kaden Groves was the next rider to swing off before leaving Australian Alex Edmondson to deliver Trentin to the line with the finish insight.

Pascal Ackermann (BORA – hansgrohe) was the first to open up his sprint and Trentin quickly jumped onto the German’s wheel, but he couldn’t come around his rival in the run to the line, with Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates) stealing the victory in a photo finish.

Matteo Trentin:
"I think we nailed the lead out, even if we’ve never really raced together on this matter before! Everyone delivered his own job really good!"

“For sure winning with such a lead out would be better but in this kind of race condition where the stage is pretty easy and not too long, I'm not the quickest here. But the race has just started and we’ve started in the right way."

Matt Wilson (Sports Director):
"The boys did a great lead out, a really good lead out. The plan was to sit back and let the big sprinter’s teams take control and to try and come late with the whole team with our lead out."

"And that’s exactly what we did, we came with four guys into the last corner with 600 to go and gave Matteo every shot. But he was just beaten by faster guys on the day, but it’s a great result for us and we’re happy with how things look for the rest of the week."

Tour of Guangxi Stage 1 Results:
1. Fernando Gaviria (UAE-Team Emirates) 2:53:42
2. Pascal Ackermann (BORA – hansgrohe) ST 
3. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

Photo Courtesy of Getty Images.