France is a good place to race for Etixx - Quick-Step rider Matteo Trentin. The Italian rider won Paris-Tours out of a three-rider breakaway he initiated on Sunday, adding a third victory at a French race to his four total wins in the 2015 season. He's now won five career races in France out of eight.
Trentin, out of a large breakaway, attacked on Cote de Beau Soleil with 9.5km left to race out of 231km in total distance. Gianni Meersman made sure his teammate had the chance by pulling back the chase group to two riders up the road at 10.5km left to race.
Greg Van Avermaet (BMC Racing Team) and Tosh Van der Sande (Lotto Soudal) were the only riders who could stay with him. Pavel Brutt (Tunkoff-Saxo) bridged briefly, but was distanced. The three riders tried attacking each other, but to no avail. They eventually worked together and built a lead of about 30 seconds as they headed into the final kilometer.
Van Avermaet suffered bad luck, with a mechanical just before the trio prepared for the sprint. He was unable to contest the sprint. Trentin, meanwhile, stayed on the front and launched his sprint first against Van der Sande. Van der Sande was unable to pass him, and Trentin raised his hands as the winner.
The 2015 edition of Paris-Tours was also the fastest of any edition, at 49.64km/h average speed. Trentin crossed the line after four hours, 39 minutes, and 12 seconds of racing.
Etixx - Quick-Step is the winningest team of the season, with 54 road wins in 2015.
"The team decided to ride for Niki Terpstra and I," Trentin said. "The breakaway went away immediately, in the first part of the race. Fortunately I noticed movement in the front, as people were preparing attacks in echelons. I was able to enter this breakaway with Meersman and Yves Lampaert. They did a great job for me in the race. We worked well together and the breakaway built a good advantage. In the first three hours we rode at a speed of more than 51 kilometers per hour. Then we slowed down a little bit. On the penultimate climb I decided to attack. I knew it could be the key point of the race. In the last days I checked a few videos on YouTube, and knew that this climb was the most important in almost all of the recent editions. I attacked also to leave behind some pure sprinters, like Arnaud Demare (FDJ). On the last climb Van Avermaet attacked, but we managed to stay with him. So we went to the finish with three. I was afraid of Van der Sande. I knew I was the fastest of the three, but he is also a fast guy. They put me in the first position in the last kilometers. I didn't panic. I stayed cool, and at 350 meters to go I launched my sprint. I won, and I was really happy. After Le Tour de France I worked hard to have a nice last part of the season. I won four races in the second half of the year. Also, in any race other than the UCI World Road Championship, I was always there. I was on a few podiums. It was also mentally important to do well today. I was a little disappointed at the UCI World Road Championship in Richmond. My goal was to be in the top 10, but I couldn't do it. After that race I trained even harder than before. I devoted myself completely to my preparation. This victory was the result. I've never been so strong in my career, which is a big mental boost. Year-by-year I am growing up. I hope this last part of the season can be the beginning of a new chapter of my career, and I can further improve going into next year. This win, which is the first one-day victory of my career, gave me a lot of morale. I have big motivation to keep working hard so I can try to become a better ride. Now I will recover with my family, and in a few weeks I will start thinking about next season."
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