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Tour de France 2019: Matteo Trentin goes solo to take Stage 17 on a neutral day for the GC

Jack Elton-Walters
24 Jul 2019

European Champion Matteo Trentin rode to a solo win on Stage 17 of the 2019 Tour de France

Matteo Trentin (Mitchelton-Scott) won Sage 17 of the 2019 Tour de France after going solo on a day when the breakaway was allowed to become a stayaway. Trentin timed his attack well and went clear with around 14km to go to the finish line. Up the final climb and down the descent to the finish line, the European Champion was fully in control as he pushed on for a famous win.

When the break's advantage crept up and up, peaking at over 18 minutes, it was clear that the General Classification teams were satisfied to let others contest the stage win.

Thanks to the time gap back to the main group, as Trentin was raising his arms in victory the bulk of the peloton was riding up the final climb and vying for position on the descent, still some 13km from the finish line.

When the yellow jersey group did finally cross the line, over 20 minutes after Trentin, it did so calmly and as one unit to maintain the same time gaps in the top 10.

A day for the break, a day closer to Paris for the GC

There were some key names in the sizeable breakaway that went clear in the early stages of the ride. A combination of the slack given by the peloton and the eagerness of riders to gain a stage win meant that the break worked well together to grow its advantage to a point where it would clearly be left to ride to the finish.

As the lead group got within 30km of the finish line it all started to kick off. A chief protagonist was Greg Van Avermaet (CCC Team) who launched an attack to enliven what's otherwise been a fairly quiet Tour for the Olympic champion.

Trentin was alive to the danger of Van Avermaet's move and went with him. The group expended a lot of energy to eek out a gap over their former breakaway allies but as the gap grew it appeared to be worthwhile.

Behind, Thomas De Gendt (Lotto-Soudal) was looked to as the leader of the chase while UAE-Team Emirates avoided working in either group, it looked like they were using the excuse of having the wrong rider ahead.

The lead group lost rider after rider until, with 14km to go, Trentin went solo. Jersey open and his face set in a grimace, the European Champion pushed ahead with thoughts of a stage win.

The strongest reaction came from Pierre-Luc Perichon (Cofidis), a rider Trentin would expect to beat in a sprint even if he could make the junction. Kasper Asgreen (Deceuninck-QuickStep) went next and passed Perichon just shy of the final peak, but the young Dane had left it too late to catch the more experienced rider up the road.