Meurisse: Van der Poel is the biggest rider at Alpecin-Fenix but it's not only him

Xandro Meurisse (Alpecin-Fenix) on the podium at the Veneto Classic
Xandro Meurisse (Alpecin-Fenix) on the podium at the Veneto Classic (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) could only smile in resignation after slowing towards a halt in the shadow of the Abbey of Santa Giustina and then congratulating Xandro Meurisse (Alpecin-Fenix), the man who had just beaten him to the Giro del Veneto in the heart of Padova. "To win now, it seems I have to finish alone or else I don't win anymore," Trentin said.

The Italian wasn't the first rider to be out-stripped in a sprint by an Alpecin-Fenix rider this season, but at least he will be the last. The Giro del Veneto, revived by Filippo Pozzato after a nine-year hiatus, was the final race on Alpecin-Fenix's programme in a remarkable 2021 that has seen the ProTeam stack up some 33 victories, including stage wins in all three Grand Tours. 

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Barry Ryan
Head of Features

Barry Ryan is Head of Features at Cyclingnews. He has covered professional cycling since 2010, reporting from the Tour de France, Giro d’Italia and events from Argentina to Japan. His writing has appeared in The Independent, Procycling and Cycling Plus. He is the author of The Ascent: Sean Kelly, Stephen Roche and the Rise of Irish Cycling’s Golden Generation, published by Gill Books.