With stars like Mark Cavendish, Tom Boonen and Niki Terpstra, followers of the Etixx-QuickStep team rarely notice Matteo Trentin unless he wins a stage of the Tour de France – which has done in the last two editions. Despite racing often as a helper in the Belgian WorldTour outfit, he explained that he is happy in the squad.
“It’s a contract year for me, but I want to stay with the team,” the Italian told Cycling Weekly. “I like it. It’s one of the best classics teams and I like the classics, I want to improve, so this is the place for me.”
Trentin is racing the Tour of Qatar this week and helping the team win the overall. Terpstra beat Fabian Cancellara (Trek Factory Racing) and Bradley Wiggins (Sky) in the time trial yesterday and took the overall lead with three days to race.
He will help Cavendish in Milan-San Remo, Ghent-Wevelgem and Scheldeprijs, and Terpstra and Boonen in the classics through Paris-Roubaix. He explained that he hopes the experience pays off one day and that he will have his chance in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Ghent-Wevelgem, the Tour of Flanders or Roubaix.
He already took his chance, and succeeded, in the Tour de France. With Cavendish at home recovering from a crash in 2014, Trentin was able to have his chance to win a small bunch kick in Nancy ahead of Peter Sagan. He escaped in 2013 and won a small group sprint Lyon.
The team’s secrets, he explained, rub off on him.
“It’s my fourth year. You always keep learning, where you are strong and where you can improve. You can always sprint faster, ride further up on the climbs, and in the wind. There’s always something to learn,” said the 25-year-old.
“Mark’s told me to keep as calm as possible in the sprints. When your head’s free, you’re not stressed and you can make the right moves as the group nears the line. Then the results follow.”