Trentin ready to rumble at Gent-WevelgemFri 23 Mar 2018
After suffering unfortunate injury setbacks at the start of the season classics specialist Matteo Trentin and Mitchelton-SCOTT are coming into form at just the right time and hope to carry that into Gent-Wevelgem in Belgium on Sunday.
With a strong and experienced team in support that includes 2016 Paris-Roubaix champion Mathew Hayman and versatile sprinter Luka Mezgec, the Australian outfit have options with key support man Jack Bauer returning to the familiar Belgian cobbles.
Australian road champion Alex Edmondson completes the team alongside compatriot Michael Hepburn and German strong man Roger Kluge.
Jack Bauer (NZL, 32)
Alex Edmondson (AUS, 24)
Mathew Hayman (AUS, 39)
Michael Hepburn (AUS, 26)
Roger Kluge (DE, 32)
Luka Mezgec (SLO, 29)
Matteo Trentin (ITA, 28)
This year will be the 80th edition of the race, the second event of the Flemish Cycling Week and first held way back in 1934. Covering 250kilometres over cobbles and since last year dirt roads, the route ascends 11climbs which includes two times over both the Baneberg and the iconic, fully cobbled Kemmelberg before the flat run to the finish.
Known as one of the sprinters classics due to the flat approach to the final, the northern European weather often plays a significant role in proceedings and usually suits the classics specialists and puncheurs.
Mitchelton-SCOTT’s best result came in 2017 with second place.
Going for a result. To be up there if and when the splits form and the key attacks go or in the mix for the sprint.
“I feel good and I feel like I am coming into some form and good shape at the right moment. Paris-Nice was pretty good for me and obviously it was a strong team performance and a good result, but since the injury I’ve been feeling better and stronger with every race and I am ready to rumble.”
"In Gent-Wevelgem the race situation can be very dependent on the weather and if there’s a lot of strong wind and rain it can make what is an already difficult and technical course even harder and more stressful, but I am ready for every scenario.
“We have a strong team lining up and we have seen over the last few years where the moves are going to go and it’s always going in the same way and in the same place and it will be important to be at the front when it goes.
Sport director Matt Wilson:
“Gent-Wevelgem is a good race for Matteo, it suits his characteristics very well and he possesses the tools necessary to get a good result. Of course, a lot will depend on the weather on Sunday. If there is a lot of wind and rain across the open Flanders road’s then the situation can change very quickly.”
“We have a strong team with great options for both the sprint and also if a group is away. It’s a long and hard race and anything can happen over the climbs, positioning will be crucial on the Baneberg and Kemmelberg if we are to be up there competing.
“Matteo is in good form at the moment and with Luka we have two good leaders which to form our plans around.”
Gent-Wevelgem, 250kilometres, Sunday 25th of March 2018.
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.