European Championships 2018: Matteo Trentin triumphs for Italy in treacherous road race
Italy’s Matteo Trentin took a sprint victory in the European road race ahead of Mathieu Van der Poel (NED) and Wout van Aert (BEL) in treacherous conditions in Glasgow.
The Italian rider won in a time of 5:50.02 on a wet and misty course that wreaked havoc with the field.
A leading group of ten riders - Trentin (ITA), Van Aert (BEL), Van der Poel (NED), Maurits Lammertink (NED), Davide Cimolai (ITA), Emils Liepins (LAT), Xandro Meurisse (BEL), Nico Denz (GER), Michael Albasini (SUI) and Pierre Luc Perichon (FRA) – looked set to contest a sprint finish.
However, the slippery conditions whittled down the break of 10 to five with 9.5km to go after Lammertink skidded into a barrier, leaving Italy with two riders - Cimolai and Trentin - in the front pack.
Cimolai led out Trentin perfectly for the Mitchelton–Scott rider to claim the white, blue and gold jersey.
"I was not in good shape and I still have a lot of pain from my crash at the Tour De France a few weeks ago," said Trentin.
"It was a very technical course and it was really hard. In the end, I still felt a lot of pain in my back and in my hip. I think I really needed more time to recover for this race."
Victory for the 29-year-old Italian is all the more remarkable considering that Trentin suffered a spinal fracture at Paris-Roubaix in April, and means Italy secure the double in the road race after Marta Bastianelli took a convincing sprint victory ahead of defending champion Marianne Vos in the women’s race.
Trentin follows previous European champions, Peter Sagan (2016) - who abandoned - and Alexander Kristoff (2017), while the tough conditions saw cyclo-cross stars Van der Poel and Van Aert emerge to take silver and bronze.