Glasgow - Italian cyclist Matteo Trentin sprinted to gold in
the men's road race at the European Championships on Sunday as three-time world
champion Peter Sagan quit with 84 kilometres left.
Spearheading a leading group of five, Italian teammate
Davide Cimolai set up Trentin perfectly to beat Dutch rider Mathieu van der
Poel and Belgium's Wout van Aert on the final meters. Spain's Jesus Herrada
Lopez finished fourth.
"We decided to heat the race from the start, putting
guys in the front, not risking anything and in the end it paid off really good
as we had a man everywhere. It's unbelievable," said Trentin, whose
victory came a week after fellow Italian Marta Bastianelli won the women's
The five leaders were left from a breakaway group which was
reduced following one of many crashes amid persistent rain in a gruelling race.
Riders completed 16 laps of the 14.4-kilometre course with
some tight turns on slippery cobble stones in the shopping streets of Glasgow's
The race got its expected sprint finish - though without
pre-race favourite Sagan, as the Slovakian rider stepped off his bike after
two-thirds of the race.
"I was not in good shape. If you have no legs on this
circuit... you need to be in good shape," Sagan told reporters outside the
Slovakian team bus. "I have still a lot of pain from the crash from the
Tour de France."
Last month, Sagan crashed heavily on a descent of the 17th
stage, but he stayed in the event and ultimately crossed the line in Paris to
win his sixth green jersey.
Sagan had won the inaugural edition of road cycling's
European Championship two years ago, while Alexander Kristoff of Norway claimed
the title last year.
Sagan's quest for another European title was first in doubt
after he lost touch with the peloton, left behind after a slow wheel change
forced him to catch up with the pack.
Later, the Slovak rider dropped behind again, and this time
he called it a race.
"It was a very technical circuit and it was pretty
hard," Sagan said. "In the end, well, I still had a lot of pain in my
back and in my hip and I think I need more time to recover from that
Sagan said he still planned to compete in the Cyclassics in
Hamburg next Sunday and the Vuelta, which starts in two weeks' time. The Grand
Tour event in Spain should set him up for the defence of his world title in
Innsbruck, on a course requiring a lot of climbing in the Austrian Alps in
However, chasing a record fourth rainbow jersey was not on
his mind yet.
"I have still some races, Hamburg, Vuelta, different
races," Sagan said. "I will fight my best for the end of the
The race had already been deprived of an anticipated
showdown between Sagan and another sprinting standout, Mark Cavendish. The
British racer pulled out three days ago on medical advice after struggling with
illness and injuries throughout the season.
Also, Tour de France champion Geraint Thomas was missing on
the course where he won the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
In other events, Spanish golfer Pedro Oriol teamed up with
Scott Fernandez to win the men's team event, beating Birgir Hafthorsson and
Axel Boasson, who were part of Iceland's golden team at Saturday's mixed
Sweden's Cajsa Persson and Linda Wessberg won the women's
event at Gleneagles.
Artur Dalaloyan added two more golds to Russia's medal haul
in gymnastics by winning the vault and parallel bar events of the men's apparatus
Russia also led the medal table in diving after Aleksandr
Bondar won the men's 10-metre platform for his country's fifth gold, one ahead
Also, open water swimmer Kristof Rasovszky of Hungary won
the 25-kilometer race for his second gold after also winning the 5K event and
finishing runner-up in the 10K. Italy's Ariana Bridi won the women's 25K race.
The inaugural European Championships, combining the
continental medal competitions from seven sport federations with athletics
taking place in Berlin, ended Sunday. Russia topped the overall medal table
with 31 golds, followed by Britain with 26. Italy and the Netherlands were next
with 15 golds each, with Germany and France both on 13.