OPQS Best Moments 2013: The Lion of Lyon
Our 4th best moment of 2013 is one most will remember for the popular YouTube video of passionate Sport Director Davide Bramati. Fellow Italian Matteo Trentin — in his first Tour de France — shocked the cycling world by launching a long sprint out of an 18 rider breakaway by overtaking several other riders in Lyon for Stage 14. Trentin capped off an aggressive final few kilometers and gave all of OPQS something to cheer about. The team was so excited they rushed to hug him, one-by-one, after his win. Bramati's excited reaction was one for a well-liked rider who gives his heart and soul for his teammates. It was finally his chance to shine. Trentin made his mark as a young rider who went from a key component of Mark Cavendish's leadout train to a stage victor.
The 191km 14th Stage of the Tour included seven categorized climbs, but was still a relatively flat stage as none were higher than Category 3 and the final was flat. The constant attacks in the 18 man breakaway kept the gap high enough for the group to make it to the finish line. Julien Simon (Sojasun) tried to win solo, but he was eventually caught, thanks to the efforts of several riders including Trentin, who launched his own attack to chase down Simon. With the group clear to contest the final Michael Abasini (ORICA-GreenEDGE) launched first. Despite this early effort from one of the stronger riders in the group, Trentin's patience paid off. He launched on the right side and managed to pass Albasini and others to take the well deserved victory.
"It was really a result of the patience I learned practicing for the sprint with Mark," Trentin said. "There is a precision to the final effort. You can't go too early, or too late. Especially if there is a lot of wind, which there was that day. I remember it. Any rider who launched too early would surely not make it. So, I launched at 200 meters because I know that was my strength and I knew the wind would give me an advantage over the others. It was all a result of timing, and I was just glad I used my experience helping Cav to fight my way to the top step of the podium. It was also the result of working with so many legends of cycling. Tom Boonen, Tony Martin, Mark — they have all taught me things in different scenarios that prepared me for a day like that."
Bramati said he was proud of Trentin for bringing together his experience as a young rider so quickly, on perhaps the biggest stage in cycling.
"Matteo is a smart, enthusiastic rider and he used that perfectly to win," Bramati said. "I was so happy for him as he is still finding his strengths. He could not have launched the sprint any better than he did. He's an Italian rider who sacrifices all for his teammates and it was his time to get his own glory. I couldn't help my reaction to such a beautiful victory for a young guy like Matteo. I think his best days are yet to come."