Tour du Poitou Charentes: Trentin Outkicks Lead Group in La Creche
Etixx - Quick-Step rider Matteo Trentin outsprinted a 28-rider selection that formed when the peloton split, and the front group bridged to a small group of leaders at 194.7km Tour du Poitou Charentes Stage 2 on Wednesday.
Yauheni Hutarovich (Bretagne-Séché Environnemen) was 2nd, and Sep Vanmarcke (LottoNL-Jumbo) crossed the line in 3rd place. Trentin was supported by teammates Mark Renshaw and Tony Martin, who finished 5th and 8th respectively, as well as Julian Alaphilippe, Lukasz Wisniowski, and Petr Vakoc.
The group was as large as 36 riders, though the number reduced over the passing kilometers. At the 24km remaining mark the gap was 35" to the next group behind. However, it was a very close call as to whether the group could stay away until the finish line. At 9km to go, the group held a 10" advantage over the first chaing group, and 20" over the second. Inside 6km to go the group clung to a little more than 6" of an advantage.
The select group never gave up the fight to stay ahead, resulting in a 22" gap heading into the flamme rouge. This gave plenty of breathing room for the leaders to decide the stage, with Trentin emerging the winner of the stage from Blanzac-Porcheresse to La Creche.
The Italian rider of Etixx - Quick-Step is 4th in the overall classification as a result of his victory and a gap between the other groups. Trentin is 11" down on Arnaud Gerard (Bretagne-Séché Environnement).
"I'm very happy about this victory," Trentin said. "It's my first win of the season. I was trying to 'break the ice' today. At the beginning the breakaway went away and for about 120 to 130 kilometers everything was relaxed. But then there were attacks by Vanmarcke and some others, and they joined the leaders. Then echelons formed at the only place possible on the parcours to do so. We went away with a group that included a lot of our guys. In the final there were a few attacks. The collaboration wasn't really there. We tried a few times to do something without any luck. Then we decided to go for the sprint. We saw at about 2 kilometers to go there was a corner on the right side, just before narrow roads that headed into the final. We entered in good position in front, keeping the pace really high. I had all of my teammates in the group pulling for me. I just finished their job with my sprint. I am happy to come back to competition with a win after a period of training at altitude. I hope this is just a first nice moment of a good final part of the season. There are still a lot of ways to improve, but I am happy and optimistic about my condition. I hope I keep getting better and, why not, try to get a spot for the UCI World Championships with the Italian national team."