The Italian was well-placed during the opening phases of the race and managed to infiltrate a group of nine that formed ahead of the first cobbled sector at Troisvilles. The group would soon swell to over 20 riders, but the European road race champion would find himself eliminated from the move three sectors later after a rear-wheel puncture.
The change from neutral service was tediously slow, and Trentin would be forced to change the same wheel at the end of the sector.
"It was just one puncture, but it wasn't a good change, so I preferred to go back onto our wheels at the end of the sector. That meant I was gone from that break," he told Cyclingnews after finishing the race in 43rd place and over 10 minutes down on winner and former teammate Phillipe Gilbert (Deceuninck-QuickStep).
In the second half of the race, Trentin's race unravelled further still. He was still active in the main group of favourites, but he was unable to respond when Gilbert, Peter Sagan (Bora-Hansgrohe) and Jumbo-Visma's Wout van Aert made attacks off the front of the race. He would eventually slip back through a number of groups before coming to the Roubaix velodrome with CCC Team's Guillaume Van Keirsbulck.
"In the second half of the race, I tried to make some moves, but I never really got in the right one. I'd make a move, but the right break would then be the next one.
"When the break went, I'd just made my move in the last attack, so I could only watch them go. Sometimes you just don't get in the right move. I'm still happy with the performance, but just not the result. I can be happy with the legs."
His results at the Tour of Flanders (21st) and Paris-Roubaix have taken some of the gloss off Trentin's start to the season. He picked up a top 10 at the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad despite a crash, and followed that with 10th at Milan-San Remo, and two more top 10s at the E3 BinckBank Classic and Gent-Wevelgem. He has won three races this season – a stage at the Volta a la Comunitat Valenciana and two at the Ruta del Sol – but the aim was to mount a serious challenge at the Classics.
"I haven't been able to do anything special in the cobbles at the big races," he said. "It didn’t go as planned, but then I was there in all the other races. Flanders wasn't good, and today wasn't good, but I've never been in the mix at Roubaix. It's another year gone."
Another year gone, but, at still only 29 – and with Gilbert having just won Roubaix at the age of 36 – there's still time for the European champion.
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Daniel Benson is the Editor in Chief at both Cyclingnews.com and BikePerfect.com. Based in the UK, he has worked within cycling for almost 15 years, and he joined the Cyclingnews team in 2008 as the site's first UK-based Managing Editor. In that time, he has reported on over a dozen editions of the Tour de France, several World Championships, the Tour Down Under, Spring Classics, and the London 2012 Olympic Games. With the help of the excellent editorial team, he runs the coverage on Cyclingnews and has interviewed leading figures in the sport including UCI Presidents and Tour de France winners.
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