The only way to beat Dutch sensation Mathieu van der Poel at the Yorkshire World Championships road race will be drop him before the final sprint, according to Matteo Trentin.
Trentin had to kiss goodbye to any hopes of winning the Tour of Britain today when he lost out in a two-up uphill sprint to Van der Poel on the penultimate stage of the race. Both riders are serious contenders for the rainbow jersey in Yorkshire.
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Speaking immediately after the finish Trentin said: “I’m feeling good about Yorkshire. Because yesterday, I did a good time trial, and I wasn’t trained to do time trial to be honest. After the Tour de France I didn’t and touch my TT bike anymore. The legs respond pretty good today, but on this finish, I think in horse power there are few people, if anyone, who can beat Van der Poel.”
The finish to the Worlds is not as steep as the sharp climb of Burton Dassett, which has all but sealed Van der Poel’s Tour of Britain win, but the group contesting the finish – which also included Ben Swift on the climbs lower slopes – may well feature some of the same riders.
When asked if he had learned anything about tactics for the Worlds from racing against the Dutchman all week, the breathless but upbeat Mitchelton-Scott rider said: “Hopefully he won’t be there at the finish. I hope he’ll get dropped.”
He added: “I mean, today maybe it was a occasion for a lot of people to get rid of him. But I don’t I really don’t understand how people are riding here because we tried to put his team under pressure. But then people were riding for him. Everyone has his own tactics but, you know, this guy you cannot bring him here.”
But for his part the Dutchman was keen to point out the challenge of the Worlds would be very different to that presented by stages of the Tour of Britain, where he has won two stages and is set to take the overall title.
“First the level at the Worlds is different. Second of all the distance. It’s going to be a totally different race but it’s especially the distance that is something. It’s not comparable. Of course I’m quite good at this type of finish. But today’s a 190km day and the Worlds will be 100km longer so it’s also a totally different sprint and it’s just the strongest guy that wins.”