Matteo Trentin sprinted to gold in the men’s road race at the European Championships on Sunday as three-time world champion Peter Sagan quit with 84 kilometers left.
Spearheading a leading group of five, Italian teammate Davide Cimolai set up Trentin perfectly to beat Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert on the final meters. Spain’s Jesus Herrada finished fourth.
”We decided to heat the race from the start, putting guys in the front, not risking anything and in the end it paid off really good as we had a man everywhere. It’s unbelievable,” said Trentin, whose victory came a week after fellow Italian Marta Bastianelli won the women’s race.
The five leaders were left from a breakaway group which was reduced following one of many crashes amid persistent rain in a grueling race.
Riders completed 16 laps of the 14.4-kilometer course with some tight turns on slippery cobble stones in the shopping streets of Glasgow’s center.
The race got its expected sprint finish – though without pre-race favorite Sagan, as the Slovakian rider stepped off his bike after two-thirds of the race.
”I was not in good shape. If you have no legs on this circuit… you need to be in good shape,” Sagan told reporters. ”I have still a lot of pain from the crash from the Tour de France.”
Sagan’s quest for another European title was first in doubt after he lost touch with the peloton, left behind after a slow wheel change forced him to catch up with the pack. Later, the Slovak rider dropped behind again, and this time he called it a race.
”It was a very technical circuit and it was pretty hard,” Sagan said. ”In the end, well, I still had a lot of pain in my back and in my hip and I think I need more time to recover from that crash.”
Sagan said he still planned to compete in the Cyclassics in Hamburg next Sunday and the Vuelta, which starts in two weeks’ time. However, chasing a record fourth rainbow jersey was not on his mind yet.
”I have still some races, Hamburg, Vuelta, different races,” Sagan said. ”I will fight my best for the end of the season.”
European Road Championship 2018 results (Glasgow – Glasgow):
|1||Matteo Trentin (Italy)|
|2||Mathieu Van Der Poel (Netherlands)|
|3||Wout Van Aert (Belgium)|
|4||Jesus Herrada (Spain)|
|5||Davide Cimolai (Italy)|
|6||Xandro Meurisse (Belgium)|
|7||Michael Albasini (Switzerland)|
|8||Pierre Luc Perichon (France)|
|9||Nico Denz (Germany)|
|10||Maurits Lammertink (Netherlands)|
|11||Alexander Kristoff (Norway)|
|12||Jasper Stuyven (Belgium)|
|13||Rick Zabel (Germany)|
|14||Sonny Colbrelli (Italy)|
|15||Luke Rowe (Great Britain)|
|16||Matej Mohoric (Slovania)|
|17||Joshua Huppertz (Germany)|
|18||Michael Morkov (Denmark)|
|19||Emils Liepins (Latvia)|
|20||Elia Viviani (Italy)|