The podium of the European Road Championships in Glasgow last Sunday very much resembled that of a cyclocross world cup race in the last few years. The only difference being that it was neither Wout van Aert nor Mathieu van der Poel to stand at the very top but Matteo Trentin from Italy of World Tour team Mitchelton-Scott. Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert finished behind him in the final sprint of five escapees.
The European Championship Road Race, held on a 230km mostly flat city course consisting of 16 laps, even almost looked like a winter race with temperatures of just 15°C, wind and rain. With Road World Champion Peter Sagan, last year’s winner Alexander Kristoff and John Degenkolb the 136-strong field was loaded with strong competition.
After a crash on the wet road about 10km before the finish had reduced the head group, which van Aert was a part of, to five riders. Besides the Tour of Denmark winner van der Poel (Netherlands), and Jesus Hérada (Spain), Trentin and his compatriot Davide Cimolai were in this group. Cimolai prepared the sprint for the powerful Trentin (who, among others, won four stages in the Vuelta a España), behind him van der Poel beat van Aert for second place.
Despite being beaten, Wout van Aert smiled shortly after the finish – it was only his second great success after winning the overall in the Tour of Denmark.