European road race champion Matteo Trentin has jokingly described those who ride their bikes on Christmas Day and New Years Day as ‘losers’. The Italian Mitchelton-Scott rider prefers to enjoy the holidays with his family and friends, eating whatever he wants, and then burning off the extra calories and ending the year by riding two local cyclo-cross races.
“Whoever rides on Christmas Day and the first of the New Year is a loser,” Trentin joked when speaking to Italian website Tuttobici.
“I hope everyone enjoys themselves during the holidays and spends time with their loved ones. On days like these we shouldn’t go training but stay with our families and friends that we struggle to see during the year.”
Trentin was due to open his Christmas presents with his wife Claudia and two young children before visiting his family in Borgo Valsugana, in the northern Trento region of Italy. He will only get back in the saddle on Boxing Day and again on December 30 for two local cyclo-cross races. He will also do some cross-country skiing to make up for missng any road training.
“The only Christmas present I want to find under the tree is peace and well being. Health and happiness are the only important things,” Trentin said.
“On Boxing Day I’m racing cross in San Fior and then on December 30 in Scorze. It’s just for fun, I don’t think I’m on form to be competitive. I’ll burn off the Panettone cake and get ready for the New Year dinner. I never hold back when I’m at the table but I don’t go overboard either.”
After six seasons at Quick-Step Floors, starting as a neo-pro in 2012, Trentin was head hunted by Mitchelton-Scott to lead their Classics hopes in 2018.
He had won Grand Tour sprints and been given lesser leadership roles in the Belgian super team but had never made the step up to team leader for the Classics. He bravely gave up a quieter life in Quick-Step Floors blue for more space, more leadership and more responsibility at Mitchelton-Scott.
Trentin and the Australian team were expecting big things after five stage wins at the 2017 Vuelta a España and a second win at Paris-Tours. However, the cracked rib left him chasing his rivals in the spring and then the vertebral fracture during Paris-Roubaix forced him to throw in the towel and reset his season.
He made up for all his pain and suffering in the summer by winning the European road race title in Glasgow, giving him the standout European champion’s jersey.