Matteo Trentin, winner of stage 6 of the Tour of Britain, described today’s route through the Peak District National Park as the hardest race he and “probably 99.9 percent of the peloton,” had ever experienced.
The Etixx-Quick Step rider outsprinted the race leader Edvald Boasson Hagen (MTN-Qhubeka) in Nottingham after a tough, tactical day’s racing over a parcours that contained barely a metre of flat road and was hit by crosswinds.
At the finish of the 192.7km stage, Trentin said his power meter figures confirmed what had been a brutal day for the peloton. Only 30 riders made it to the finish within the time limit. However the jury waived the rule for the 76-strong grupetto which will be allowed to start tomorrow. They finished more than 45 minutes down on Trentin.
“For me and for probably for 99.9 per cent of the guys it’s the hardest race we’ve ever done," Trentin said. “It was really full gas from the beginning and we never really stopped.
“I just checked the numbers I had at the end of the stage [and it was] 365 watts of normalised power. If you know a little bit about the numbers it’s huge for a 4 hour 45 minute stage.”
Trentin had been a driving force for most of the race. He infiltrated an early break that was reclaimed by a brutal chase by Team Sky, looking after the interests of Wout Poels who was second on GC.
Trentin made it into a second six-man break that was given a degree more leeway as the race travelled east through the Pennines on often heavy country roads.
As the raced neared Nottingham, the break’s unity started to fracture. Only Trentin had the energy to forge clear. At two kilometers to go, he was joined by Boasson Hagen, who had escaped Team Sky’s grip.
“The parcours is really hard," Trentin added. "When the bunch split the first time we got on a crest and the whole way on the crest it was crosswind. In the crosswind on the flat it’s already hard – can you imagine what it’s like when it’s up and down."
Trentin’s win offset a trying day for the Belgian team because of Mark Cavendish’s forced abandon after colliding with a parked car early in the stage.
The team is now down to three men after the earlier abandons of Petr Vakoc and Fernando Gaviria.
“I have to say that from this situation you have to see the mentality of this team – we were a winning team and that means we have a winning mentality and we always race for the victory – we never just race to the finish.”
He predicted tomorrow’s 227km stage from Fakenham to Ipswich would be another hard day for the peloton.
It was the 26-year-old’s third victory of the season after a brace of stage wins in the Tour du Poitou-Charentes in late August.