VALENCIA, Spain (AFP) — European champion Matteo Trentin timed his sprint to perfection to claim victory in stage 2 of Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana on Thursday.
“I was feeling good, my numbers in training have been alright but numbers and racing are two different things,” said Trentin. “Today I was never struggling, I was surfing in the wheels and in the final I think I pulled up a really good sprint coming at the right moment, in the right position, so I am really happy.”
Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) pulled away from Nacer Bouhanni (Cofidis) and Ben Swift (Team Sky) to clinch his first victory of the season while Edvald Boasson Hagen (Dimension Data) finished fifth to retain the overall lead. The Norwegian earned the overall lead in Wednesday’s short individual time trial.
After 166 kilometers, starting in Alicante, Spain and finishing back in the center of the city, Trentin crossed the line in 4 hours, 10 minutes, and 12 seconds. Boasson Hagen holds a five-second lead over Ion Izagirre (Astana).
Trentin’s crucial moment came on a right-hand turn just before the finishing straight, which the Italian navigated brilliantly to come out in front of Bouhanni, who had no time to recover.
“We knew that the second position was the maximum position to come out of the roundabout to win the stage,” Trentin added. “When you leave the roundabout so close to the finish, for sure if you are in fourth position then the guys in front start sprinting and you are still cornering. I preferred to just give it a go as the first guy and I came really fast, so it was a good move.”
Earlier, Dylan Groenewegen had been dropped on the final categorized climb of Alto de Carrasqueta but the Dutchman’s Jumbo-Visma teammates hustled him back into contention with 15km to go.
Team Sky also pushed a cluster of riders to the front, with Swift well-placed until Trentin made the decisive move. Swift was still comfortably clear of another Italian, Sonny Colbrelli (Bahrain-Merida), who finished fourth.
The race continues on Friday with stage 3 between Quart de Poblet and Chera. The 191-kilometer race could shake up the overall standings with a Cat. 3 finish climb averaging 4.5 percent over 5.4 kilometers. It comes at the end of a day that includes five other categorized climbs.