Our compatriot Xandro Meurisse was the best in the Giro del Veneto (1.1 race). Surprisingly, the Alpecin-Fenix rider took the pace of home racer Matteo Trentin and the rest of the sprinting peloton in the sprint. And immediately the 29-year-old West Fleming claimed their first international victory.
Eight unknown early divisions drove much of the 168 kilometers between Citadel and Padua, but more than 40 kilometers before the end were again taken over by the peloton. Then the attacks rained down. The UAE team Emirates and Astana-Premier Tech were very active, but also the Belgian team Alpecin-Fenix, who sent Xandro Meurisse to the attack twice.
On the second try, Meurisse, Matteo Trentin and Jhonatan Restrepo got two faster escape buds on paper, and the chase group was still dangerously close, but Meurisse still pulled off the longest finish. He took a sprint in front of the Italian Trentin and his compatriot Alberto Dainesi, who passed Restrepo in the race of pursuers.
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“I apologized to Trentin for the ‘gap’ I dropped with Restrepo going into the last kilometer, forcing the Italian to close the gap. Sporting director Gianni Mersmann told me I had to start the race at the Trentin wheel. I was also able to play, because in the group that was Chasing us, we had our sprinters Spragle and Ben Tolet. I also know from myself that I can get along well with a small group. Watched the Tour two years ago which took me some honorary places. I am especially happy to have been at my level since the Tour de Suisse. At the start of the season I was still very upset about the after-effects of the corona infection I caught last year. It can only get better next year.”
Since a group of about thirty people only followed a handful of meters from the three refugees, Mathieu Trentin chose to run the long distance. That proved fatal to him. “Meurisse was stronger than me in the sprint, it was that simple,” murmured unfortunate Mathieu Trentin. The Italian from the UAE had reasons not to understand him anymore in Padua. He’s been in perfect shape since the Vuelta, but with the exception of Trofeo Matteoti, it has only resulted in the former European champions getting places of honor. He also finished second in the Augustoni Cup on Monday. “It feels like the devil is involved, and I can’t win anymore. I will try again on Sunday at the Veneto Classic.”
Roger de Fleming
Xandro Meurisse is the second national to win this race. So far, Roger de Flamenck has been the only one. He won 47 years ago. The Tour of Veneto was the last road race on the Alpecin-Fenix programme. The team has racked up no less than 33 UCI-level victories this road season, which means the ProTeam at the Roodhoofts is quantitatively better even than the UAE Team Emirates. For Maurice himself, it was the UCI’s first victory of the season, despite winning the Geraardsbergen fair earlier this year.