Trentin was one of the seven riders that were fighting for the day’s honors on the final two climbs of the day and despite the steep gradients taking their toll on the Italian, and former European champion, Trentin was able to continue to push hard to secure fourth place on the line.
Earlier in the race, the day’s initial five rider breakaway was given the freedom open up an advantage of seven minutes 30 seconds in the first hour of racing at which point, CCC Team hit the front of the peloton to start controlling the race and cut one minute off the group’s advantage going onto the first cobbled sector.
CCC Team continued to contribute to the pace-making before a group of 16 riders split off the front of the peloton as crosswinds ripped through the peloton with 130 kilometers to go, however, despite initially missing the move the Polish team worked hard and eventually both the breakaway and the chasing group were caught.
After hitting the reset button at the halfway point of the race, the peloton was back racing hard with the action intensifying once again as Van Avermaet and Trentin both went on the attack and followed the moves being fired off the front of the field.
Inside the final 70 kilometers, of the 200-kilometer race, Trentin was part of a new eight-rider breakaway that was able to open up an advantage of more than two minutes over a reduced bunch which still included Van Avermaet, Nathan Van Hooydonck and Guillaume Van Keirsbulck.
Approaching the iconic Muur – Kapelmuur, with around 16 kilometers to go, Trentin and his fellow leaders were still sitting one-minute 45 seconds ahead of the group with Van Avermaet however, it was here that the stinging attacks on the steep gradients saw the leading group explode.
Trentin fought hard, trying to close the gap but with strong winds, the gap eventually proved too much with the leading trio eventually sprinting for the win 40 seconds up the road while behind, Van Avermaet continued to sit in the first chasing group and, after launching his own powerful attack which was ultimately pulled back earlier in the race, he crossed the line just outside the top ten in 13th place.
Quotes From the Finish Line
“We knew from the start it could be a hard race. I wasn’t expecting it to be that hard. Even from the start, everyone was nervous. With the weather, the wind, the way everyone was racing today, it was a really hard race. I am happy with how the team raced because we were on the back foot when Trek-Segafredo split it the first time and we could manage to get back and get on the front foot in the next breakaways.”
“After the second time on the Haaghoek, we came off and split again and Greg and I were up there in the front. We knew the group was too big and one of the moves would stick. The move I went in was pretty good with strong guys. I wasn’t feeling too good on the Muur so that’s why I was dropped. When I saw them accelerate so much I decided to go my own pace. But, then the legs got better. If they started to look to each other and stopped riding for ten seconds, for sure I would have come back. But I don’t think any of them were playing games, they were committed and there were just three guys with better legs.”
“There is still some work I need to do to hit my shape. It’s kind of expected but, of course, when you are there you want to be the best and don’t want to get dropped. I am happy about the race. I think the team reacted well in a bad situation which is something that will come good in the next Classics. This is only the start.”
Greg Van Avermaet:
“I think we did quite well today. It was a super hard race right from the beginning with the wind and we had to be careful. We didn’t miss the main move with Matteo making it into that group and I had good feelings overall also so I could respond to some attacks in the back. When the gap went out to over one minute 30 seconds, you knew it would be really hard to catch them back. I think the guys in front were strong and we have a good result so hopefully, we can bring something more in the future races.”
“I think the main goal was to help each other and we did that but it’s really hard when you see how many contenders we have at a race like this but we had two cards today and I think Matteo did a good job.”
Sports Director, Valerio Piva:
“For sure, our leaders Greg and Matteo were very strong today. We made a mistake at the beginning but the team reacted well and we closed the gap. Of course, that spent a lot of energy and from this moment, some of the guys were not able to help more. Matteo was in the good move but he didn’t have the legs to follow the two stronger guys on the Muur, and he finished fourth. We did a good race but we need to adjust some things. Top five is a good result. This is Matteo’s first Classic with us and he did a good job. It is very important to have two leaders. As we saw today, without Matteo, all of the responsibility would have been on Greg and then it’s difficult. We are a strong team and with some adjustments, we can see some nice results.”
Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
One-daye race: Gent > Ninove (200km)
Top 3: 1. Jasper Stuyven (Trek – Segafredo) 2. Yves Lampaert (Deceuninck – Quick-Step) 3. Soren Kragh Anderssen (Team Sunweb)
CCC Team Top 3: 4. Matteo Trentin 13. Greg Van Avermaet 26. Nathan Van Hooydonck