Matteo Trentin beat Peter Sagan in a photo finish on stage seven and said the win was for his absent Omega Pharma-Quick Step team-leader, Mark Cavendish

By Sophie Hurcom

Matteo Trentin dedicated his victory on stage seven of the Tour de France to his Omega Pharma-Quick Step team-mate Mark Cavendish, who crashed and abandoned the race on stage one.

Trentin narrowly edged Peter Sagan on the line at the end of the stage in a photo finish, on a day that was flat apart from two category four climbs in the final 10km.

“We win for Cav, we win for the team,” Trentin said after the stage. “Like I say before, we keep fighting every day and to take home a victory to make the best as possible. For sure, we are happy now.”

The 24-year-old Italian is riding his second Tour, and today’s victory follows his first stage win last year in Lyon. Sagan attacked on the final climb however, he was caught by the bunch within the last kilometre and edged out by Trentin.

“It was really, really good, because it’s me, that I won today,” he said. “But it is the whole team working. The whole team was working from the first stage for Cav and when Cav crashed we just say we have to go for a win, we have to work we have to fight, we have to keep an eye on a victory. We have to finalise everything, every day the maximum that we can collect from this Tour.”

Trentin’s winning margin was so small over Sagan as he crossed the line, that he was not certain he had the victory.

“Somebody told me in the radio already [that he had won] and then I saw Alessandro [Tegner, team press officer] come running that I won. Honestly, I didn’t know that I won because I thought that Peter had just beat me on the line,” he said.

“But then, like I said some days ago, cycling is nice because everything can happen,” he said. “With all the publicity on the ground, with all the lines that you can find on the finish line, I was a little bit confused. I needed to make sure that I had won. It’s better to wait, and be sure when you speak.”

Trentin and his Quick-Step team-mates have been a visible presence on the front of the peloton this week, particularly in the run-up to the finish on bunch sprint stages. However, their tactic of hitting the front early has meant they have so far faded in the final few metres. Today though, the team left it late and Trentin caught Sagan on the line.

“If you see the last few stages, we were always in the front on the flat stages, always in the front on the hilly stages, always in the front even on the cobbles. We didn’t have a lot of good luck, and today all the work that we put on the road paid off.”