Trentin getting an active role as Italian Olympic team reserve
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Friday, July 27, 2012

Trentin getting an active role as Italian Olympic team reserve

by Kyle Moore at 3:39 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Olympics
Paolo Bettini bringing the young Italian along for learning and advising

Matteo TrentinThough Matteo Trentin (Omega Pharma-Quick Step) is the active reserve for the Italian squad at the Olympic road race, team coach Paolo Bettini will keep the 22-year-old close to his side, so the promising young Italian can learn the ways of the event.

Bettini expressed his pleasure with the progression of Trentin’s career, as a developing Classics rider on the Belgian Omega Pharma-Quick Step squad. He raced but didn’t finish Milan-Sanremo, the Tour of Flanders, and Paris-Roubaix, but no doubt gleaned a wealth of experience as part of the team’s dominance with Tom Boonen in the spring.

Trentin was selected as an Olympic reserve behind Italy’s five starters, comprising of Sacha Modolo, Vincenzo Nibali, Luca Paolini, Marco Pinotti, and Elia Viviani. The team is likely to use Nibali and Pinotti in attacking roles, trying to disrupt the race for the powerful sprinting talents of Mark Cavendish, André Greipel, and Peter Sagan. Modolo and Viviani likely pack the fastest finishes, though Paolini could be utilized in a bunch kick as well.

“It’s always difficult to make these choices, especially when it comes to athletes who are strong and motivated,” Bettini said, according to Tuttobiciweb. “In recent months, Matteo has shown great skill and professionalism. Regardless of this choice, the value of Trentin is beyond dispute, and he will continue to be part of our national teams. I wanted him to be here in London because it is an important experience to breathe in the Olympic atmosphere.

“Matteo has the role of active reserve. In a long and difficult race, where among other things we cannot use race radios, he will help me a lot. His eyes will be on the course. Having access to an athlete like him at the roadside will be crucial to communicate with the team, about our feelings and how to take on opponents and try to interpret the best race.”

Though he would obviously rather be racing in London, Trentin is enjoying his experience in the Olympic environment.

“I'm sorry [I’m not competing] because an athlete always wants to race and do their best,” the young Italian admitted. “But I understand the choices of the coach and I will try to get the most out of this experience both personally and professionally. It is a unique atmosphere, living at the Olympics. This morning the village was all very exciting, and I found myself in contact with the world’s best athletes of all disciplines, all here to give their best and represent their country with pride.

“I thank Paolo Bettini and the Italian Cycling Federation for having trust in me and wanting to bring me here to London. My Olympic dream does not end here, especially now that I’ve seen and really understand what the Olympics are for an athlete. I will do everything possible to be present in four years in Rio de Janeiro. Tomorrow I won’t race but I will feel part of this team and I’ll give my contribution as a reserve, trying to be helpful to the coaches from the roadside along the way.”

Bettini added that the team had been out training on the Olympic course, but he did not give away the Italian strategy for the race.

“I rode with the team, and we rode a total of two laps of the circuit,” Bettini explained. “It was all right - the course is the same as the one on which we raced last year in the test event, though of course tomorrow the distance is different. It’s a fast circuit, however, with the ascent of Box Hill that can influence the race. We'll see how this climb can influence the course of the race and we’ll see the teams that have an interest in doing so. We certainly should be ready to seize and take advantage of all the opportunities that are presented.”


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