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Trentin wins European road race after Sagan abandons

Italian Matteo Trentin sprinted to victory in the European Championships road race on Sunday after world champion and favourite Peter Sagan pulled out on a difficult afternoon around the rain-soaked streets of Glasgow city centre.


Reuters 12 Aug 2018, 05:52 PM United Kingdom

Italian Matteo Trentin sprinted to victory in the European Championships road race on Sunday after world champion and favourite Peter Sagan pulled out on a difficult afternoon around the rain-soaked streets of Glasgow city centre.

Trentin took gold in a four-man dash for the line, outpacing Dutch rider Mathieu van der Poel, who took silver, and Belgian bronze medal winner Wout van Aert after five hours 50 minutes of a slog in the rain over 230.4km in the trying conditions.

The victory sealed a wonderful comeback for the 29-year-old Trenton, a seven-time Grand Tour stage winner, who suffered a fractured thoracic spine when crashing on the cobbles of Paris-Roubaix in April and had to spend six weeks off his bike.

"It's unbelievable. After everything I went through during the first half of the season, really amazing," said Trentin.

"I broke a vertebra four months ago and a rib six months ago so this is a really good comeback after all the bad luck I had," he added, after beating the two cyclo-cross specialists Van der Poel and Van Aert, who thrived in the driving rain.

"I had a chat with Van der Poel at the beginning of the race and he said, 'it looks like cyclo-cross'," said Trentin. "That's true. It was like one million corners, wet, up and down all day. They were the two to watch for the race today and I beat them."

A crash among a 10-man breakaway on the wet roads with less than 10km left meant it soon came down to a group of five leaders, with Italian Davide Cimolai helping set up his teammate while not contesting the final sprint himself.

Spain's Jesus Herrada Lopez was the one to just miss out on the bronze in the final sprint.

"The crash simplified things," said Trentin. "Then in the sprint, I asked Cimolai to lead me out and he did a spectacular job, as did all the Italian team."

Slovakia's Sagan, who suffered from injury last month en route to winning a sixth points classification title at the Tour de France, was two minutes 45 seconds down on the leaders when he abandoned the race on the 11th of 16 laps of the looped course.

He had also already been forced to chase back earlier after being held up by a lengthy wheel-change.

"I was not in good shape and I still have a lot of pain from my crash at the Tour De France a few weeks ago," he said.

"It was a very technical course and it was really hard. In the end, I still felt a lot of pain in my back and in my hip. I think I really needed more time to recover from this race." 

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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