From the French side of the Spanish border all the way down to deepest southwestern Spain, Matteo Trentin and his Quick-Step Floors teammates have continued to rack up the victories. On a baking hot afternoon in Tomares, the Vuelta a España’s most westerly point this year, Trentin triumphantly punched the air for the third time in the race.
Yves Lampaert opened up Quick-Step Floors’ account in the Vuelta a España when the bunch split apart in Gruissan, France on stage 2, becoming Belgium’s first leader of the Vuelta for seven years, and Julian Alaphilippe took a brilliantly calculated victory at Xorret de Cati a week later.
But it was Trentin who claimed the team’s first victory on Spanish soil in a bunch sprint in stage 5 in Tarragona. The 28-year-old then doubled his score by outpowering Jose Joaquim Rojas (Movistar) on the Murcia man’s home soil in Alhama. Then in Tomares in Andalusia, three days further on, Trentin has made that a hat trick as he comfortably out-powered Gianni Moscon (Team Sky) on a tricky uphill finish. Or as Trentin himself defined Tomares, “a finish for puncheurs.”
Of his three wins, Trentin said that Friday’s win, coming on a highly technical finale and with that fiddly final uphill kick, “was the hardest because the finish was really hard. But there was also the one with Rojas because I had to go in the breakaway that day, and going in the breakaway was the first little victory of the day.”
“The easiest could have been Tarragona, just because the course was easier, mainly downhill from Andorra. Today was not downhill at all, there was 2,000 meters of [vertical] climbing and the finish was hard.”
However, he reasoned, “Winning is never easy and it’s never easy with this field, either. They say there are no sprinters here but no stages for sprinters either. Today was not for sprinters at all, it was a stage for puncheurs and I’m really happy to get the win today.”
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