Matteo Trentin: From spinal fracture to European cycling champion

Italian wins incident-packed European Championships with tactical masterclass in Glasgow

Matteo Trentin won the European Championships road race on a treacherous Glasgow day.

But perhaps even more impressive, is that the Italian cyclist suffered a spinal fracture at Paris-Roubaix in April.

The victory sees Italy seal the road race double after Marta Bastianelli stormed to victory in the women's race.

Treacherous contitions

Constant, pelting rain meant that mechanical problems, crashes and illness were a constant threat.

However, the conditions only added to the sense of excitement as the cyclists battled just to stay on the course.

Three-time world champion and pre-race favourite Peter Sagan, Gonzalo Serrano and Eduard Prades were all forced to retire early.

The result was a cautious race, where riders navigated the 230km circuit with very few risks.

A 10-man breakaway formed with 60km to go, pushing two minutes ahead of the peloton.

But with 10km left in the race Dutchman Maurits Lammertink crashed, sending Xandro Meurisse, Pierre-Luc Perichon and Michael Albasini skidding onto the road with him.

Three kilometres later Italy’s Davide Cimolai launched an attack to no avail.

Italian job at the finish

Belgian Meurisse battled bravely to re-join the leading group after his earlier crash, in one final push for glory.

With no one taking the initiative, five riders were in the running until the end.

But with two men in the group, Italy used their advantage to full effect.

In a masterclass of tactical cycling Cimolai secured Trentin a good position with a lead-out 300m from the end.

The underdog moved out from behind Cimolai to seal the race ruthlessly.

Dutchman Mathieu van der Poel and Belgium’s Wout Van Aert both emptied the tank in a thrilling sprint finish, to finish second and third respectively.

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