Israel Start-Up Nation was in the mix again on stage 3 of Tour of the Alps with Alessandro De Marchi putting on an impressive performance to take fifth place on the stage and gain back the blue KOM jersey.

Already before the start of the stage, De Marchi had indicated that he was eager to get up the road and fight for the stage win today. The strong Italian put in multiple attacks in the opening kilometers but the peloton wasn’t content with letting him go. However, De Marchi wasn’t going to stop trying and after another hard effort, he managed to get away with a strong group of over 10 riders.

On the first categorized climb of the day, De Marchi had no problems taking the maximum points at the top, bringing him back into the lead of the KOM classification. However, on the final steep ascent, the breakaway split up, leaving just four riders at the front. Once again, De Marchi kept his cool and didn’t give up.

Working hard to come back, the chase group came very close to bridging across but at the end, De Marchi had to settle for fifth place, crossing the line just a few seconds after the winner, Gianni Moscon (INEOS).

ISN team leader Dan Martin finished safely within the peloton and he’s now fourth in the general classification. Unfortunately, Ben Hermans had to abandon the race due to stomach problems.

Alessandro De Marchi: “Today, I woke up to some very bad news from my home region. A young girl I know had been involved in an accident while she was out training on her bike. I was very motivated to ride for her today and I think this gave me a bit of extra strength when I really needed it on the climbs today. This one was for you, Silvia!”

“Looking at my condition, I’m still not at my best level, but I can feel that I’m on the right path. At the end, we almost closed the gap to the front group, we just lacked a little bit. Anyway, I’m happy with my performance today. I got the KOM jersey back and we’ll see how long I can keep it for. We still have two very hard days left here.”