Matteo Trentin celebrated an “emotional finish” as he crossed the line alone on stage 17 of the Tour de France.
The Mitchelton-Scott rider notched a fourth stage win for his team in the 2019 race and his first in the Tour for five years.
Trentin was the best of a 30-rider breakaway on stage 17 as the race transferred to the Gap on a nailed-on breakaway day via two categorised climbs.
After attacks broke up the escape, Italian Trentin broke free from his rivals a kilometre before the final third category climb.
Speaking after the stage, the 29-year-old said: “It was an emotional finish because I’ve only won two races in my career alone, and doing it in the Tour de France on this finish, with this super strong group is amazing.
“Today was definitely my last chance before three days in the Alps that are extremely demanding.
“This solo win has a special taste after two that I got through bunch sprints. I was getting top-10 in all kind of stages, finally I won.
“It’s a great moment.”
Trentin won his first Tour de France stage on his debut in the race back in 2013, when riding for Quick-Step, going on to win stages in all three Grand Tours including four in the 2017 Vuelta.
The European champion was a consistent top-10 finisher in the bunch sprints at the 2019 Tour de France, but never seemed a danger to his faster rivals.
Trentin opted to take the sprint out of the equation on stage 17, riding clear of the big threat Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) and riding the final 14km alone.
He added: “My mentality helped me win even more than my legs, I never would have imagined I would win solo.
“I attacked two or three times, trying to go solo before the climbing, bearing in mind that I’m more able to ride at my pace at the front, rather than try and follow attacks uphill.”
Mitchelton-Scott arrived at the Tour with general classification ambitions for Adam Yates, but as that dream crumbled the Australian outfit have bounced back with four stage victories, all from breakaways – Daryl Impey on stage nine, Simon Yates on day 12 and 15, and now Trentin.
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