Vuelta a Espana stage win liberating for De Marchi
05 September 2018 06:45
Alessandro de Marchi (BMC Racing) said that he felt liberated after taking his first individual victory in three years on stage 11 of the Vuelta a Espana. The Italian has been a regular part of BMC's successful team time trial line-ups, but it is the first time since his 2015 Vuelta stage win on Fuente del Chivo that he has lifted his arms to claim solo success. "It was a liberation because I have waited a lot for this moment and the last three years I have been up and down a lot, and finally I have found myself again," De Marchi said after the finish. The opening kilometres of stage 11 was expected to be a bun-fight with the breakaway standing a very clear chance of taking it to the line. So it was to pass, with relentless attacking for almost 100 kilometres before a clear breakaway was formed. De Marchi was there with teammates Dylan Teuns and Nicolas Roche, and both proved key in the victory.ADVERTISEMENT Even with the escape group created, the attacking rarely stopped. De Marchi latched onto a late move by Roche and Katusha-Alpecin rider Jhonatan Restrepo with 25km to go before eventually dropping them. While Roche fell back into the chasing group, Restrepo pulled the gap back and De Marchi knew he had to drop his companion if he hoped to turn his efforts into victory. "If it went to a sprint, I would for sure have finished second. The only option was to try everything on the last climb. Honestly, I didn't feel the best legs but it was just mind," explained De Marchi. "The presence of the other two guys was important, it was the key. I could play in the front and then I was sure that they would help me by stopping the bunch behind. In the end, the whole day was full gas and each move looked like the right one so you cannot lose one moment. I was fighting for five and a half hours. It was the hardest win that I've ever had." De Marchi had told Cyclingnews before the stage that he thought his best chance had gone when he had failed to make on Sunday's stage to Covatilla. Having missed that opportunity, he was keen to hit the ground running in the second week and plans to continue scouting out more breakaway opportunities until the race reaches Madrid in just under two weeks.
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