Trentin retains Tour de l’Ain lead
The 27-year-old Italian gets to spend one more day in the yellow jersey, after sprinting to seventh on stage 2.
Tour de l'Ain continued on Thursday, when the peloton took on the third-category Côte de Cessiat twice, last time inside the final 30 kilometers. At that point of the race, the original four-man break of the day was at the front, but their action was preparing to come to a conclusion despite a maximum advantage of six minutes, as Etixx – Quick-Step controlled the move since the beginning of the stage (Saint-Didier-sur-Chalaronne – Montreal-la Cluse, 173.2 kilometers) and dragged the gap back to within touching distance on the ramps of Cessiat.
Before the escape was nullified, two riders tried to get away, but they too were reabsorbed on the descent, together with the men who were still in the lead. The reduced bunch gallop saw Matteo Trentin finish seventh, a result which helped him hold onto the yellow jersey he took at the end of stage 1. In the overall rankings, Matteo is followed by Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto-Soudal), Thursday's victor, and Michael Schwarzmann (Bora-Argon 18). The Italian rider of Etixx – Quick-Step also leads the points classification, where he enjoys a nice cushion over the next rider, with two stages to go until the race draws the curtain.
"The guys worked hard and kept the peloton together. In the finale, we paid for our intense effort, because it's really difficult to control things with just six riders, and I found myself alone in the last kilometer. I tried to jump in the wheel of a train, but couldn't find any space to move once other things came to the front and made things crowded", explained Matteo Trentin after returning from his visit to the podium. "I tried to do my best, but I missed some luck, and I am a little bit disappointed for not repaying my teammates with a better result. At least I get to keep yellow for one more stage and from tomorrow, when we enter the big mountains, I will be ready to help the guys as much as I can."
Photo credit: © James STARTT/Agence Zoom