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Trentin: Italian team can compete with Van Aert and Van der Poel at World Championships

2019 Road World Championship Yorkshire Men Junior Road Race Richmond Harrogate 148 km 26092019 Matteo Trentin Italy Sonny Colbrelli Italy Davide Cimolai Italy Salvatore Puccio Italy BettiniPhoto2019
Matteo Trentin (left) with the Italian team at the 2019 Road World Championships in Yorkshire where he came second (Image credit: Bettini Photo)

Matteo Trentin (UAE Team Emirates) has not tasted victory this season but the experienced Italian rider is determined to end his drought in the next few weeks. 

The next two goals on his schedule are the UEC Road European Championships, which he won back in 2018, and the UCI Road World Championships, in which he was second back in 2019.

Italy have yet to finalise their roster for the World Championships but with Trentin’s experience and fast finish he is expected to play a leading role and while Italy lack an out-and-out favourite for the race their depth should ensure that they at least feature in the crucial unfolding of the race.

“We can be among the favourites. Of course, we don’t have a [Mathieu] van der Poel or [Wout] van Aert but as a collective, we can overcome this. We’ve done it before and always bring our leader into the finale,” Trentin recently told Cyclingnews.

“I went to Belgium for recon and it will be super technical race. The weather will play a massive part in how the race will develop. It’s a bit like Yorkshire but it’s more like De Brabantse Pijl - La Flèche Brabançonne and one of those Flemish races when you go in and out of the towns. It’s technical, it’s tough and I like it. If it’s windy and raining then it will be so tough, especially in the exposed places but I wouldn’t be surprised if a large group goes clear, and then it becomes a smaller group that just starts attacking each other in the final.”

Sonny Colbrellli, Gianni Moscon, Filippo Ganna and Davide Ballerini are among the other riders expected to make the cut and Trentin believes that communication, a clear plan and cooperation will determine how successful Italy are in the World Championships. 

I don’t know who the leader is,” he said. 

“That’s still a question for the national coach, so there’s still time to show that you can lead the team. It will be a really strong team in any case. We need to decide on a tactic going into the race because we can’t do everything, so knowing who will do what will be really important.” 

Trentin recently used the Vuelta a España to build up his form. He was an attacking presence throughout the race but narrowly missed out on a stage win. In all he enjoyed five top-ten finishes, taking a second, third and fourth. 

He believes that his condition hasn’t peaked yet.

“I don’t know if it’s the best preparation but the Vuelta is certainly a good format. I came off the first part of the season quite well and I trained well. The Vuelta was the last kick before getting into the best shape possible. I don’t feel I’m at the top edge or that I’m fatigued so I’m happy with where I am. For me, it’s really about the Euros and the Worlds for sure.”

Trentin was third in Brabantse Pijl earlier this year but was also seventh in Kuurne-Brussel-Kuurne, third in Gent-Wevelgem, and 12th in Amstel Gold Race. His second place at the Worlds in Harrogate two years ago is still a reference point in terms of his quality and capabilities. 

His confidence may not be sky high at present, with a first win in UAE Team Emirates colours proving elusive, but the 32-year-old knows that he and Italy can make an impact at Worlds. 

“There’s the second place in Harrogate, which is still a bit tough to take," said Trentin. 

"I come to the Worlds a little bit different than that year because I’m still looking for a win but I’ve been consistent a lot this season. If it wasn’t for a puncture or crashes I was in the front in the Classics. So I’m confident that I can play a part in the Worlds.”

Editor in Chief - Cyclingnews.