Schär attacked as soon as the flag dropped and was joined by Swiss compatriot Stefan Küng (Groupama – FDJ) but with strong winds forecast, the sprinters’ teams kept the duo on a short leash with their advantage never exceeding two minutes.
The catch was made with 100 kilometers remaining, at which point a large crash occurred at the back of the bunch to somewhat neutralize attempts to split the field.
Nerves were high navigating the narrow roads but Trentin was well positioned approaching the intermediate sprint, where he took the win to gain an additional 20 points for the sprint classification.
Multiple crashes, including one involving Jonas Koch, wracked havoc on the bunch but attempts to further split the peloton didn’t come to fruition with a large group contesting the sprint in Île de Ré where Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) sprinted to the win.
Trentin was positioned at the front of the bunch in the final five kilometers, alongside Greg Van Avermaet, but was forced out of the mix by the sprint trains and settled for 12th place, while Koch was fortunately able to finish the stage relatively unscathed.
Quotes from the Finish Line
“From 1-10 it was a 15 in terms of chaos. We knew it would be a super chaotic stage with road furniture and the headwind made it even harder to manage because the bunch never really split and everyone wanted to be in the front. Greg and I were positioned quite well until about three kilometers to go but the teams will longer trains flicked up and it was end of story. I tried to come from the back and was around 15th or something. A bad result again but I’ll try again. I picked up the intermediate sprint but the big points are on the finish so if you don’t score on the finish, there’s no reason to keep going for this.”
“It was a nice day with my friend Stefan Küng in the breakaway. We spoke in the neutral zone and decided to do a little attack. We hoped to have more riders rather than just the two of us and we realised quickly that the peloton was nervous and wasn’t going to let us go too much. They caught us after only 60 or 70 kilometers so it wasn’t the perfect breakaway but it was nice to go away.”
Tour de France
Stage 10 Île d’Oléron > Île de Ré (168.5km)
Top 3: 1. Sam Bennett (Deceuninck – Quick-Step), 2. Caleb Ewan (Lotto Soudal), 3. Peter Sagan (BORA – Hansgrohe)
CCC Team top 3: 12. Matteo Trentin, 26. Greg Van Avermaet, 115. Michael Schär