In his third full season with Omega Pharma-Quickstep, Italian Matteo Trentin has mainly served at the behest of his team, but on stage 6 of the Tour de Suisse, the 24-year-old was given the lead-out of his career by teammate, race leader and world time trial champion Tony Martin.
After Trentin helped to keep Martin in contact on the final climb and descent, Martin returned the favor with an enormous burst of speed in the final kilometer that set up his teammate perfectly for the finish. Trentin had only to finish off the work, and so he did and won comfortably ahead of Daniele Bennati (Tinkoff-Saxo).
"The finish was slightly uphill. I accelerated and was able to do a good sprint," Trentin said. "I like this kind of sprint. But of course I want to share this victory with the team and Tony who did a selfless, great job."
It's the second such victory for Trentin, who claimed his biggest career victory in last year's Tour de France on stage 14, but from a much smaller group. This time, he topped many of the sport's best sprinters, including points leader Peter Sagan (Cannondale), Ben Swift (Sky) and the previous day's winner Sacha Modolo (Lampre-Merida).
"Of course I am super happy about this victory," Trentin said. "It's funny that I almost lost the possibility to be there in the final, at about 35 kilometers to go. There was road work on the road and I was a little bit in the rear of the peloton. The road went from double lane to single lane when the first part of the peloton passed that area. I was stuck in the back and had to put my feet down when the pace came to a stop. So, I had to chase the group ahead after that situation.
"When I reached them again at the bottom of the second to last climb I was always trying to recover. Then on the final climb I was in front of the group again and I helped Tony. I was always with him on the downhill. But at four kilometers to go, Tony looked at me and said 'OK, we do the sprint.'
"It was a question of one second time difference, so we knew the yellow jersey was safe at that point and we went. Tony did an unbelievable job. He split the peloton into two groups in the last kilometers, in the middle of the village. When he does a pull like that it is unbelievable the engine he has. He left me at 200 meters to go."
Trentin credited his good form with some altitude work he did at Lake Tahoe following the Tour of California. "It was a great experience and there and I trained well. Now the work is paying off. So, I am happy about it."
The opportunities for sprinters are now behind them, and the focus turns back to Martin for one more stage, tomorrow's 24.7km time trial in Worb, and two mountainous days this weekend.