The Italian men's team were left empty handed in another Worlds road race with Giacomo Nizzolo leading them home in a lowly 18th place behind winner Peter Sagan. It's now seven years since Italy won a rainbow jersey but Matteo Trentin – 34th on the day – believed that despite the result the team raced astutely.
The Italians came into the race without a clear favourite, as they did in 2011 in Copenhagen, but they gave a much better account of themselves on this occasion with Daniele Bennati, Fabio Felline, and Elia Viviani all infiltrating key breaks.
However when the most important move of the day came on the penultimate climb the Italians were unable to respond. Trentin had been present and on the attack on the proceeding climb, and held his hand up in admission at the finish, telling Cyclingnews that he had perhaps attacked too early.
"For the result it wasn't so good because we didn't reach the top ten. Basically if you see the results it wasn't good but we raced in the best way possible and in every action we were there," Trentin told Cyclingnews at the finish.
"From my side I probably made a mistake when I saw the move from Degenkolb and Van Avermaet I went also with them but I spent my bullet at the wrong time and that's all."
"Sagan waited and made the best race. What we saw on this parcours was that you had one bullet and once you used it, your race is over."
It's been two years since the Italian posted a top-five finish in the men's race – last year Sonny Colbrelli finished in the top 15 – but Trentin praised this year's team for at least playing a tactical role in the race.
"I think we raced the best way. Of course the best way of racing, normally gets a result, normally, but I think we took the best that was possible," he said.
"Giacomo went for the sprint and kept safe the whole day but if you saw from Kristoff it wasn't an easy sprint. It was a really hard race."
Trentin called for patience from the fans and media – suggesting that this team were only starting to find their feet as a group and that previous generations of Italian riders took time before success was found.
"We had a really good team and I think we raced well, in my opinion. Instead just the result you really need to see the whole picture. The guys, most of them, are young and born between 1988-91 so it's a young team and we need time to be at the front of these races. We need more time to grow but we're starting to come together," he said.
"If you look at one of the great Italian teams from around 2002 from the years of Cipollini and they started to work and grow together. They had some really good results and we need to work towards that. Of course we have passion but we know that we need results too. We don't want to be here to make up the numbers. At this point we just need to analyse everything and then go better next time."