Riding his Propel Advanced SL Disc team bike with a CADEX WheelSystem, Trentin had strong support from his CCC Team throughout the day. The first half of the race was mostly flat and fast, seeing a breakaway of seven riders gain a maximum advantage of nearly 8 minutes after 100km. The second half challenged riders with gravel sections and 11 climbs including three ascents of the famous Kemmelberg.
As the intensity picked up, splits formed and the early break was reeled back in with 60km to go. Trentin, a classics specialist who also has three Tour de France stage wins to his name, put himself in good position heading into the final climb of the Kemmelberg. The Italian made a move from a lead group of 17, taking two riders—Frenchman Florian Sénéchal and Italian Alberto Bettiol—with him to fight for the victory. Danish rider Mads Pedersen bridged up to them in the final kilometer, leaving the four to sprint for the finish.
“The final selection was really, really strong and everybody was fast so you couldn’t really predict who was going to win out of a group like that,” Trentin said. “I tried to attack a lot of times, and even in the end I felt strong enough to make that final move inside two kilometers to go. It’s just a pity Mads [Pedersen] could make it back across. However, at the end of the day, the best man won and he deserved it.”
Pedersen took the top spot, but Trentin was happy for the result in one of the year’s top classics event. “It’s a nice podium result and there’s still one race to go so,” he said. “Even though I’ve been feeling good since the restart of the season, there have been some situations where I wasn’t there to contest the victory. Today I was and even though it wasn’t a win, I proved that the legs are there and that’s what all of these Classics are about ultimately.”