Tour de Suisse Stage 8: Trentin Fights for 7th in Bern
Etixx - Quick-Step riders Michal Kwiatkowski and Matteo Trentin entered into a 19-rider breakaway of the undulating 152.5km Tour de Suisse Stage 8 in Bern on Saturday, but the group reduced in number in the late kilometers, and two riders who would ultimately decide the stage.
Alexey Lutsenko (Astana) beat Jan Bakelants (AG2R - La Mondiale) to win the stage. Warren Barguil (Giant Alpecin) attacked the chase group behind, which included Trentin, to finish 3rd.
Lutsenko went solo initially, while Kwiatkowski was unable to maintain contact when the riders of the group tried to follow Lutsenko's acceleration with 17.3km to go. Eventually Bakelants was able to bridge to Lutsenko. Trentin tried to attack out of the chase group to bridge with 10km to go, but the chasers came back together. Lutsenko and Bakelants maintained a 13" advantage to the Trentin group with 3.3km to go, while the peloton was much further behind at 2 minutes and 39 seconds. They finished 17" ahead of Barguil and 22" ahead of the Trentin group.
Etixx - Quick-Step looks next to the final, 38.4km ITT on Sunday in Bern. There is plenty of up-and-down along the parcours, particularly the middle kilometers. However, the final couple of kilometers are flat.
"Today was a stage where I really wanted to be a protagonist," Trentin said. "It was a hard stage. We went out in a breakaway immediately with 12 riders including Michal, Zdenek Stybar, and I, but they caught us after 25 kilometers. Then Kwiato and I went into another action and we stayed away this time. On the last lap of the circuit Kwiatkowski gave me a big hand, especially on the most difficult climb. That was when normally I would have had trouble. But he really helped me. Of course, he also paid a bit himself for the effort yesterday in the breakaway, so in the final I was alone. The two guys Lutsenko and Bakelants were ahead and behind them, everyone looked at me and Bennati as we were the fastest guys. So I decided on the last climb to attack, at about 10 kilometers to go. We went ahead with five riders but the others caught us. So then Meyer of Orica-GreenEDGE worked a lot to try and close the gap. But in the end, when you arrive at the finish like that everyone played a bit to try and save some energy in case the leaders are caught. so, we arrived to fight for 4th place. To be honest I am a little disappointed. I wanted to do a good sprint but I didn't have the possibility to do it because I was a bit closed. I finished 7th, but I have to be satisfied with this day. It was a hard stage, but I have a good feeling. To go into the breakaway today wasn't easy, but we did it and I was able to stay with the group into the finale. If I compare my condition this year with that of last year, I am almost up to the same level as the previous season by this point. I am quite happy about that and confident for the next races."