Heavy rain impacted on the race, splitting the field in the closing kilometers, as the riders were preparing for a bunch sprint.
One of the most important races of the German calendar, Münsterland Giro attracts at the start some of the fastest men of the peloton, and this year even more came to test their legs ahead of the World Championships in Doha. Held over 216 kilometers on a flat course, the race was controlled by Etixx – Quick-Step, Bora-Argon 18 and Dimension Data, who kept in check the gap of the six men in the breakaway: Pawel Bernas (Verva ActiveJet), Aime De Gendt (Topsport Vlaanderen), Silvio Herklotz (Bora-Argon 18), Robert Kessler (Team Brandenburg), Sjoerd Kouwenhoven (TKH Continental Team) and Roland Thalmann (Team Roth).
The peloton began to chew into the seven-minute gap of the escapees and eventually reeled them in with 20 kilometers to go, just as the weather turned from grim to apocalyptic and the rain unleashed in Münster. Everything was set for a sprint finish, but on the local laps the bunch got fragmented and just a handful of riders made it to the front, holding off the chasers and contesting the victory.
Matteo Trentin got involved in the sprint and finished fourth at the 12th Sparkassen Münsterland Giro, behind John Degenkolb (Giant-Alpecin), Roy Jans (Wanty-Groupe Gobert) and Pascal Ackermann (Rad-Net Rose), while another Etixx – Quick-Step rider, Gianni Meersman, concluded the race in 8th place.
"It was a tough day, made even more hard by the rain. I think there was a crash in the final kilometers, and that's why the peloton split. Together with Max and Gianni we managed to get into that first group and decided that I'll go for the sprint", said Matteo, who posted his 15th top-10 finish of the season. "I probably went a bit too early, with around 250 meters to go, but even without this, Degenkolb would have won, because he was stronger. Maybe I could have finished on the podium if I would have started at the right moment, but this doesn't matter now. All that's important is that my legs are strong and I'm motivated for my next appointments."
Photo credit: ©Tim De Waele