Trentin comes 5th in Mallorca opener
The Italian rider showed good legs in the 174-km long Trofeo Felanitx-Ses Salines-Campos-Porreres.
Mallorca welcomed the cyclists with great weather for the first European event of the season, a day which was expected to finish with a bunch sprint after an undulating course, with just a couple of small climbs. Following a number of unsuccessful attempts, three men eventually managed to escape from the pack at the 30-kilometer mark: Domingos Gonçalves (Caja Rural), Grischa Janorschke (Roth-Skoda) and Eneko Lizarralde (Euskadi). The three got along together and quickly built a gap of 4:30, but it was to no avail, as they were caught with less than 40 kilometers to go.
Soon afterwards, Xavier Cañellas tried his luck, and even though he had half a minute in hand at one point, the sprinters' teams did their homework and brought the Spaniard back in the group easily. Coming into the run-in, André Greipel (Lotto-Soudal) took the best line and a burst of speed helped him win the race, outsprinting Sam Bennett (Bora-Argon 18) and Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data). For Etixx – Quick-Step – who had Iljo Keisse in the first break of the day – Matteo Trentin notched a strong 5th place, a proof of his strong determination in the start of the season.
"The race was good for me, but not as tough as I would have liked, because the break was caught with a long way to go and this made the peloton slow down, which allowed many riders to recover before the finish. Coming into the last kilometer I was in a perfect position, having Greipel in my sight, but just as I was preparing to sprint, the guy who was in front of me slowed down, so I had to come around him, and because of that I lost some speed. Despite this, I'm happy for myself and the team, and we are all very motivated for the next race", said Matteo Trentin, the 2015 Paris-Tours winner, at the arrival.
The four-day series in the Balearic Islands will continue on Friday, January 29th, with the Trofeo Pollença-Port de Andratx (162.6 km), which puts on the table another lumpy course. Three categorized climbs are on the menu, but as all come long before the finish, another bunch gallop could be in line.
©Tim De Waele