Trentin shows form with third on stage one in PolandSat 4 Aug 2018
The 75th Tour of Poland began with a short and sweet stage around Krakow with multiple grand tour stage winner Matteo Trentin displaying a strong turn of pace and sharpness to take third in the bunch sprint for Mitchelton-SCOTT.
A strong lead-out, first from Australian champion Alex Edmondson and then Luka Mezgec brought Trentin up to the front for a drag race alongside Quick-Step Floors with less than a kilometre remaining.
Bora-Hansgrohe had been close to the front throughout the stage and the German team moved up again as the front of the race exploded out of the final corner.
Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) took the stage win after launching early with Trentin taking off in pursuit for a solid third place and a positive return to form after recovering from a serious back injury sustained in the spring.
Giro d’Italia stage winner and overall contender Simon Yates stayed up near the front through the finale and finished 18th attentive of any potential gaps on GC.
Four riders went up the road immediately and gained close to four minutes on the peloton over the first 20kilometres as the race headed past the outskirts of Krakow and into the neighboring countryside.
Not much changed over the next hour of racing and the peloton, looking ever comfortable started to reduce the gap inside the closing kilometres. Finally making contact ahead of the three finishing circuits in downtown Krakow with only one rider left out front at 20seconds.
Less than ten kilometres remained when the bunch eventually came together with the fight for position intensifying over every metre and a sprint finish clearly on the cards.
Mitchelton-SCOTT led out Trentin into the last kilometre as the fireworks ignited and after holding on to a good position the Italian finished well with third on the day behind stage winner Ackermann.
“We approached the sprint really well today, all the guys were involved and kept me out of the wind brilliantly. First Roman Kreuziger, Carlos Verona and Michael Albasini did great work over the final laps before Alex and Luka led me out, and I couldn’t have asked for a better position.”
“It was the first time this group has worked together on a sprint like that and we managed it very positively, I don’t think I would have had the legs to beat Ackermann today and the best I could do was get in his slipstream and fight for second or third.
“Getting off to a good start is important, especially on a short stage with such a fast finish like today. I am feeling good, getting back into the rhythm of racing and tomorrow is another opportunity for us.”
Sport director Laurenzo Lapage:
“The guys stuck to the plan well today, we said from the outset that we aren’t loking to try and control the race from the front and we want to try and wait for opportunities. When the race hit the closing circuits we moved up at the right time and got Matteo into a good position to contest the sprint."
“It’s a good start and Matteo is looking strong. We can see that he is on his way back towards top form and today’s performance will be great for his confidence after such a long time out.”
Tour of Poland stage one results:
1. Pascal Ackermann (Bora-Hansgrohe) 0:2:59:11
2. Alvaro Hodeg (Quick-Step-Floors) ST
3. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Photos courtesy of Getty Images.