Rider of the week
Paris-Tours, the most underrated Classic in terms of prestige, was won this year by Matteo Trentin, one of the most underrated one-day riders of the current peloton, who found a great way to end his season, during which he raced 78 days, for a total of more than 13 000 kilometers. The 26-year-old cyclist was in a fantastic shape now that the season was reaching its conclusion, with a stage victory in the Tour of Britain, as well as two podiums in Coppa Bernocchi and Gran Piemonte, where he was each time among the most strongest riders in the race.
As always, the 231 km-long Paris-Tours was a fast and eventful race right from the start, with attacks galore and a thrilling finish, which saw a two-man battle between Trentin and Tosh Van Der Sande, after Greg Van Avermaet, the other rider to attack in the group, had a flat tire that took him out of contention. In the end, despite leading out for the last kilometer, the Etixx-Quick Step cyclist still had enough left in the tank to outsprint Lotto-Soudal’s Belgian and score his first win in a one-day race.
Besides the victory he landed on Sunday, Matteo Trentin also received the Ruban Jaune, which rewards the cyclist who records the fastest average speed in a cycling race of over 200 kilometers, this being for the ninth time in history that this honour goes to the winner of Paris-Tours (49,641 km/h in 2015). More important, after confirming he has what it takes to be a protagonist and taste success in the Classics, the Italian could now become one of Etixx-Quick Step’s protected riders for the 2016 Spring campaign, when he could get a chance to confirm last week’s victory by adding a Monument to his growing palmares.