Ruta del Sol stage 2: Trentin wins gritty sprint

Matteo Trentin wins a tough sprint after a long day in the saddle, chasing down a surprise acceleration by Ivan Garcia.

Get access to everything we publish when you join VeloNews or Outside+.

European champion Matteo Trentin won a marathon stage 2 at Ruta del Sol Thursday in Torredonjimeno, Spain.

LottoNL-Jumbo’s Danny van Poppel was closing fast at the end of the 216.5km race but he ended up second by a whisker.

Ivan Garcia Cortina (Bahrain-Merida) finished third.

“It was the longest last kilometer ever,” Trentin said of the chaotic finish.

“I think I actually did a really good sprint because it was uphill and I really never slowed down speed. I could switch gears coming up to go harder, so I am really happy.”

The Spaniard Garcia Cortina caught the sprinters off-guard in the grinding finish that came at the end of a gradual climb to the end of the stage.

He had a few bike lengths on the disorganized sprint within the final hundred meters of the finale.

However, Trentin, already a stage winner at Vuelta a la Valenciana, chased Garcia Cortina down at the very end to win the day.

“Cortina went really far from the finish and with about 150 meters to go he slowed down, and I knew if I could hit the front with around 250 meters then it would be OK,” Trentin said. “I timed my sprint as best as I could and it finished perfectly.”

The five-day race continues with a 16.2km individual time trial in stage 3 Friday.

Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) kept the overall lead after Thursday’s stage, thanks to his victory on the short uphill finish in stage 1.