Matteo Trentin Makes History with the Ruban Jaune
Matteo Trentin made cycling history on Sunday by capturing the Paris-Tours, but also the Ruban Jaune. But what does that mean, specifically? The Ruban Jaune is a prize initiated by French journalist Henri Desgrange, who was, among other things, father of the Tour De France. The idea was to celebrate the cyclist who holds the highest average speed in races longer than 200 kilometres. It was first awarded in 1936 to Belgian cyclist Gustave Danneels, who covered 251 kilometers in the Paris-Tours at an average of 41.455 kilometers per hour. The name Ruban Jaune, with the literal meaning "Yellow Ribbon," was chosen as an analogy with another similar award, the "Blue Ribbon," which was awarded to the fastest ship to make the Atlantic crossing. Even the colour yellow is no coincidence; in fact it represents the tone of the paper used for the daily sports newspaper called L'Auto, which was founded by none other than Henri Desgrange himself.
In the meantime, in almost 80 years, only twelve athletes have obtained the precious Ruban Jaune. On Sunday it was Matteo Trentin's turn, thanks to the success matured at the Paris-Tours, which he completed in just 4 hours, 39 minutes, 12 seconds, at the incredible average speed of 49.64 kilometers per hour.
"I knew we rode really fast on Sunday, but I didn't think we would manage to break the average speed record," says Trentin. "I'm not surprised that this record has been broken nine times out of twelve right here at the Paris-Tours. Thanks to its strictly flat route and almost always favorable winds, you can reach very high speeds. On Sunday specifically, these advantageous conditions were all confirmed. Add to that the break with about thirty athletes after just a few kilometers from the start, which therefore spurred everyone to keep up a constant speed all day. The French race was my last competition for this season; now I'm going to rest for a few weeks and I'm going on holiday with my family before starting to think about the 2016 season."