Matteo sprints to victory in Stage 2 of the Tour of Hellas
Matteo Moschetti’s wide grin at the finish said it all. The Italian easily outsprinted his rivals in the second stage of the International Tour of Hellas to claim his second victory of the season.
Trek-Segafredo is the only WorldTour team in the 5-day race, and that often means taking control for a bunch finish is not cut and dried and a sprint ending never guaranteed.
On paper, Moschetti is the man to beat in the sprints, but as we all know, what happens out on the road often never plays to script. While it may have looked easy from our armchairs, it was not a sure-fire win for Matteo.
Ten kilometers from the line, there was one big climb to get over, and the attacks kept the pace high.
“On top of the last climb, around 10kms to the finish line, I was still in the front group, so we went all-in for a sprint,” explained Matteo. “I really suffered on the climb; I tried to survive.”
When the last attacks – one by teammate Filippo Baroncicini (often the best defense is offense) – were neutralized by the top, and Matteo was still in the front of the bunch, Trek-Segafredo put full attention to its Italian sprinter.
The last 10 kilometers were all downhill, and a sprint ending was almost certain. Matteo just needed to pull the last punch.
“The last 3k, for me, was the easiest part of the race,” continued Matteo. “I think we did a good job as a team. In the end, Markus (Hoelgaard) did a super nice lead-out and brought me to perfect position in the last 200 meters. I just did the sprint, and it was enough,” he added nonchalantly.
Making no mistakes in the fast finish, Moschetti stormed over the line by over a bike length.
— Trek-Segafredo (@TrekSegafredo) April 28, 2022
Unfortunately, Filippo Baroncini crashed at the start of the long downhill, and despite getting back on his bike quickly, never made it back to the bunch. He crossed the line almost one minute behind.
But Markus Hoelgaard, who has been riding strongly in the first two days, is sitting in 8th place and still in the fight in the overall classification.
“Our mission is to win stages here. We have a young team here, but I think we are competitive and maybe in the last two days we can look to the GC too,” added Matteo. ” Filippo crashed today but Markus is still in good position in GC.”