Trentin takes his chance in an exhilarating edition of Amstel Gold Race to finish 10thSun 21 Apr 2019
European champion Matteo Trentin took his chances today in Amstel Gold Race, putting himself in the mix with 30kilometres remaining in what turned out to be an unpredictable and exciting finale.
For the final kilometres of the race it looked like Trentin was in contention for a podium finish, chasing down two leaders alongside Michal Kwiatowski (Team Sky), but despite their hard efforts, a chasing group made contact inside the final 500metres of the 265km day, with Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus) passing the leaders just before the line to take an exhilarating victory.
In the end, Trentin fought to finish in 10th place for Mitchelton-SCOTT after a long day out and a huge effort.
The first break
Under bright blue skies and sunshine, the riders set off from Maastricht ready for a lengthy 265km including 35climbs. Within the opening 30kilometres, nine-riders formed the first breakaway of the day and opened up a lead of over eight minutes.
After 55km of racing and the first ascent of the Cauberg, two-riders bridged across to the leading group and the race situation remained that way for the majority of the day.
The gradual chase
With every climb and kilometres passed, the timegap to the leaders gradually began to decrease as the peloton entered the final 100kilometres. Astana Pro Team led the chase and as the breakaway entered the final 50km their advantage was down to just one and a half minutes.
The race really began to light up suddenly and with 45kilometres to go the gap quickly dropped to one minute over the top of the Gulperberg. Shortly after Van der Poel attacked alongwith Gorka Izagirre (Astana Pro Team), which saw the distance to the leaders reduced even further.
Finally with 37kilometres to go the breakaway riders were all swallowed up and a new group formed ahead. Julian Alaphillipe (Deceuninck-Quic Step) and Jakob Fuglesang (Astana Pro Team) attacked away and led the race for the last 36kilometres with Trentin putting himself into the contention chasing behind with Kwiatowski.
The race situation remained this way over the final climbs as the finish line drew closer. The two groups continued to keep their distance with Trentin and Kwiatowski unable to close the distance despite getting really close at times.
The unexpected catch
With the fierce battle happening at the front, the reduced chasing peloton didn’t give up and drew closer and closer to the leaders as the kilometres ticked down. Kwiatowski launched an attack away from Trentin as they approached the last kilometre and quickly past bridged across to the two leaders.
Then in a nail-biting turn of events, the chasing group seemingly came from nowhere inside 500metres to go with van der Poel blasting past the rest to take an incredible victory just on the line.
“When Alaphillipe went it was too hard for me to be honest, he went on a hard climb and after a hard moment. I went with Kwiatowski and we rolled perfectly together, he actually waited for me on the really hard berg, and we said ok lets try to get them back.
“We chased for the last 30km and we were getting close many times but we just couldn’t close it, then on the next climbs the got five second extra and then 10seconds extra and that was it when the group came from behind. I was just drafting to the finish line then behind the guys and that’s all, I didn't have an extra sprint anymore.
“Maybe if we had had gotten them back then the race would have turned out totally differently, with four guys chasing in the front instead of just two and then two behind at ten seconds all the time. But that was the race situation at the end. Sometimes it is like this.”
Matt White - Head Sport Director
“Matteo had a really great ride, just getting caught there just in the finish. We thought we were fighting it out for the podium until the Van der Poels group came charging through and he ended up finishing with a top ten.
“We knew where the race would light up and we knew we had to have people in the front group and Matteo did a great job. That set up our other guys, who could sit back and wait and see if it came back, which it did, with just 400metres to go. It was a super tight and super exciting race today.”
Amstel Gold Race Results:
1. Mathieu van der Poel (Corendon-Circus)
2. Simon Clarke (EF Education First)
3. Jakob Fuglsang (Astana Pro Team)
10. Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
Photos courtesy of