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Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) held Hugo Hofstetter (Arkéa-Samsic) right at the finish line of the 2022 Le Samyn.
Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix) challenged but settled for third when teammate Tim Merlier was caught at the back of the chasing peloton.
Trentin is the first Italian to win this mid-week cobbled race. He has been building on early-season performances, finishing in seventh place at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and ninth at Kuurne-Brussels-Kuurne just two days prior.
The eight on the front of the race nearly were swallowed up in the reduced bunch sprint by the chasing peloton, which had all but erased the margin in the final kilometer.
Trentin was forced to the front by the other in the group, which included Victor Campenaerts (Lotto-Soudal) and Stan Dewulf (AG2R-Citroën).
The 209km race concluded with three circuits of a 26.3 loop that featured cobbled climbs and very narrow roads into the finish.
A six-man break that had escaped early on was brought under control after the first loop of the finishing circuit.
Nearly as soon as the dwindling bunch on the front were absorbed, a dangerous attack by Trentin and Campenaerts went away.
Some eighteen riders chased and formed a strong group which put up to 40 seconds between it and the main group, with Tim Merlier (Alpecin-Fenix) and Fabio Jakobsen (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl).
The pressure on the front split this bunch in half into the final circuit and then shed two more riders into the final 18km.
Upon hearing that Merlier had been caught behind a crash, Trentin and Campenaerts thew in massive pulls at the front of the race, not wanting the Alpecin-Fenix fastman to have an opportunity at the front of the race.
Of the eight on the front, Trentin was the most revered in a bunch sprint. As they went under the red kite, the advantage had dwindled to 20 seconds, and the peloton was going full-gas to bring them back.
Trentin was forced to the front before the final turn but was able to drop back for a moment, with the peloton almost within striking distance.
Dries van Gestel (TotalEnergies) opened the final sprint, and Trentin cued off his move, launching his winning move.
Van Gestel faded as Trentin took over the front and just barely held a charging Hofstetter to the line.
2022 Le Samyn Men’s Elite Results
- Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates), 4:49:29
- Hugo Hofstetter (Team Arkéa-Samsic), at s.t.
- Dries De Bondt (Alpecin-Fenix), at s.t.
- Stan Dewulf (AG2R Citroën), at s.t.
- Loic Vliegen (Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert Matériaux), at s.t.
- Victor Campenaerts (Lotto Soudal), at s.t.
- Dries van Gestel (TotalEnergies), at s.t.
- Bert Van Lerberghe (Quick-Step Alpha Vinyl), at s.t.
- Rasmus Tiller (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team), at :04
- Arnaud De Lie (Lotto Soudal), at s.t.