Trentin navigates to sixth place after a chaotic & windy first day in Paris-Nice 

Sun 10 Mar 2019

European champion Matteo Trentin sprinted to sixth place today for Mitchelton-SCOTT after surviving the crosswinds and echelons on a chaotic first day in Paris-Nice.

The final 40km of the race was action packed with the bunch shattering into groups after several echelons formed. Trentin always remained in control and in contention at the front of the splits, before challenging for the sprint victory in a what was a fast and close bunch kick.

On the line, Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo-Visma) just nudged out Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) to take the win, with Trentin having to settle for sixth place. 

A trio of Frenchmen escape 

As soon as the start flagged dropped three riders, Amal Monard (Area Samsic), Damien Gaudin (Direct Energie) and Romain Combaud (Delko Marseille Provence), jumped ahead of the bunch and quickly opened up their lead over the peloton.

With strong winds the first hour of racing was just 34.5kph and the break hovered around three minutes ahead, only coming closer after a short stint of echelons split the peloton around the 100km to go mark, but shortly after the peloton settled down once again, but the tension remained.

Echelons, Echelons, Echelons

The howling winds began to take it’s toll on the three leaders as the kilometres ticked down and with 40km to go echelons formed once again and soon after the leaders were caught and the race lit up.

Huge splits occurred in the peloton and crashes added to the nervousness. Trentin made it into the first main crucial split before the race calmed down five kilometres later and a large second chasing group, including Simon YatesJack Haig and Luka Mezgec bridged across with just over 30km remaining.

Stress until the sprint

The chaos continued coming into the final 20km as teams tried to set things up for a sprint but whilst being cautious for more potential splits in the crosswinds.

Mezgec worked to try and put Trentin into position in the final kilometres, before Trentin surfed the wheels in an attempt to move up further as the sprint opened up. It wasn't to be for Trentin today but the team remains very much in contention for the comin stages and the overall with the team's general classification hopeful Yates successfully finishing in the front main group.

Matteo Trentin

“I was all day stressing, keeping position, everybody was concentrating and not giving one centimetre to let anybody go somewhere so it was like a fighting day. I could make it first into that first split but that group didn’t go, it was so hard but in the end the group didn’t really commit to stay away so everything came back again and after that point we knew it would be a sprint.

“Luka was with me from the last corner to the 1.5kilometre marker and he dropped me on the wheel of Arnaud Demare (FDJ) but then it was still super chaotic. I changed my position a couple of times after that and that maybe cost me some power in the end.

"The only team who really did a proper lead-out train was Team Jumbo-Visma and they actually did a good job and I think Groenewegen deserved the victory. I was hoping for something better but there are the next days and we will go on for another opportunity.”

Paris-Nice - Stage 1 Results:

1. Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo-Visma) 3:17:35
2. Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) ST
3. Fabio Jakobsen (Deceuninck-Quickstep) ST
6. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT)

Paris-Nice - General Classification after Stage 1:

1. Dylan Groenewegen (Team Jumbo-Visma) 3:17:25
2. Caleb Ewan (Lotto-Soudal) +0:04
3. Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team) +0:05
10. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:10

Photos courtesy of Getty Images