When it comes to riders’ legs, the day after the rest day can be one extreme to the other. For Alessandro De Marchi, Giro d’Italia stage 10 was the start of a new chapter in this Grand Tour with the Italian finding his legs in the form of the breakaway and a late solo attack.
Coming into the race with a less-than-ideal preparation with illness plaguing his first half of the season, De Marchi always planned to use the first half of the race to ride into form.
“We are following the plan, a bigger picture. Today was a chance to find myself a bit and to set a starting point, to say “This is where I am now” which I need to accept. For a guy like me, sometimes it is not easy to be at the back and accept that I am still far from my top shape. Today was probably the best day of my season until now, when I could really go deep and find my old feelings,” explained De Marchi.
Today was probably the best day of my season until now, when I could really go deep and find my old feelings.
As the battle for the breakaway started, De Marchi launched a counter attack in the hope of creating a big group at the front of the race, and although a large group didn’t eventuate, De Marchi found himself as part of a three-rider move. Solid cooperation in the group saw their advantage grow to more than six minutes before Alpecin – Fenix and Intermarché-Wanty-Gobert took control of the chase.
“At the beginning, there was a moment when it was looking like it could be crazy but suddenly when we went with just three riders, they just stopped and you could see it was the perfect scenario for Alpecin and Wanty as it was easier to control three riders rather than 50km of attacks. So we were there and once you are there, you never know what will happen and have to play your cards. We probably could have used the wind more to our advantage as when we were inside the hills we had a tail wind and thinking now, maybe we could have used it better to keep the gap higher.”
De Marchi’s group forged on but as their gap hit the one-minute mark with 32 kilometers to go, De Marchi launched a solo move in the hope of holding the peloton off. De Marchi battled on solo for another 12 kilometers until he was ultimately caught, meanwhile, the rest of IPT was working to help Giacomo Nizzolo survive the punchy climbs.
“In the end, three guys against two teams is never easy. But you are there and you have to give it all and try. I didn’t really want to go solo so early but it’s racing and you can’t wait until the finish line. The other two riders were a bit tired and didn’t really want to speed up but once I am there, I will not wait, I will just go and take what I can.”
Nizzolo wasn’t able to maintain contact with the front group over the last climb and ultimately, finished in the second group while up ahead, Biniam Girmay took the win.