Earlier in the 195-kilometer stage, three riders went clear soon after the flag dropped and gained a maximum advantage of around four minutes over the peloton.
The bunch kept the escapees on a short leash with the sprinters’ teams working to set up a bunch sprint scenario, eventually bringing the breakaway back with 32 kilometers to go.
CCC Team riders were positioned well towards the front of the bunch, including Trentin, Greg Van Avermaet, and Simon Geschke, who responded to an attack from Tim Wellens (Lotto Soudal) on the final climb with around 25 kilometers to go.
After the peloton neutralized the attack, Michael Schär took control of the race, setting a fast tempo to string the peloton out before Patrick Bevin launched a solid attack, forcing the sprinters’ teams to react.
With 10 kilometers to go, CCC Team focused on putting Trentin in the best possible position in the run into the finish. Despite being boxed in on the finish straight, the Italian rider surfed the wheels and showed his legs to sprint to third place behind stage winner Fabio Jakobsen (DQT).
Quotes from the Finish Line
“We decided in the meeting this morning that we will try to shake it up a little bit with some attacks in the tricky part with 25 – 20 kilometers to go. Also, Lotto Soudal decided to do the same thing, which was god for us, so we went. We started to race quite hard from there to the last ten kilometers. It helped to tire the legs of the guys who were also looking forward to the sprint. Then, the guys kept me protected all the way to the finish. I had a good position at the second to last roundabout and the last one, and then I was a little bit boxed in. At that point, everyone was solo, so I was jumping from wheel to wheel. I think that I had good speed. Maybe I could have gone around Viviani but not definitely. All in all, I’m happy. Third place is good, especially with all those sprinters around me. I was just behind and taking into account that I was boxed in two times, it’s a good step forward from the last two weeks.”
Valerio Piva, Sports Director:
“Our plan was to accelerate on the hilly part, around 20 kilometers from the finish line to make the peloton longer and that was good. And then, everyone was around Matteo to bring him to the best position in the last kilometers. The team worked really well, Matteo was left by them in a good place. It’s a pity, as other riders closed him in the final sprint. Maybe he would have a chance for second place. But ok, we are happy that the team raced well and I think that a victory will arrive. We are also happy that Simon Geschke responded well after Wellens attacked. It’s a good sign as tomorrow there is an uphill finish. Geschke is our leader for GC, we will try to do something.”
Volta ao Algarve
Stage 1: Portimão > Lagos (195.6km)
Top 3: 1. Fabio Jakobsen (DQT), 2. Elia Viviani (Cofidis), 3. Matteo Trentin (CCC)
CCC Team Top 3: 3. Matteo Trentin, 20. Greg Van Avermaet, 51.Patrick Bevin