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"This victory rewards me for all the unsuccessful breakaways I’ve conducted since I turned professional. It was the dream of my life to achieve something like this and I’m delighted it happened at such a big race. I’v...

Photo: Sirotti




09.06.2013 @ 20:20 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Alessandro De Marchi (Cannondale) dug deep in the final climb of today's stage in the Criterium du Dauphiné to keep the formidable Sky duo of Chris Froome and Richie Porte at bay, finally securing his first win as a professional. The tireless domestique has often been on the attack in the early part of his career, and the Italian was overjoyed to finally see his aggressiveness pay off.


It is testament to the aggressive nature of Alessandro De Marchi that the Italian joined today's big 24-man breakaway, just 24 hours after his latest attempt where he had been the last man standing from a 22-rider group. Today, he found himself in a similar position but this time no one was able to catch him.


Despite the frightening chase duo of Chris Froome and Richie Porte, De Marchi managed to keep up the pace all the way to the top of the final climb to Risoul, soloing across the line for his first professional win. Finishing in front of Froome in a mountain stage in the Criterium du Dauphiné, the Italian did not choose an insignificant race for his maiden triumph and the victory is a reward for the endless of hours the tireless domestique has spent in suicide attacks early in his career.


"This victory rewards me for all the unsuccessful breakaways I’ve conducted since I turned professional", he said. "It was the dream of my life to achieve something like this and I’m delighted it happened at such a big race. I’ve tried so many times that I can only be happy with this."


De Marchi had crested the summit of the day's penultimate climb with Travis Meyer but the duo increased in size to form a 5-rider group at the bottom of the final ascent. Time Wellens (Lotto) was the first of those to try his hand but De Marchi steadily reeled him back in, passing him with just 5km to go.


"In the second last climb, I’ve decided to wait and see what could be done later on," he said. "When the Lotto rider (Wellens, ed.) attacked in the last climb, I preferred to wait a bit that he’d get some advantage, so I could pass him strongly. Once I was alone in the lead, I gave everything I had but I was afraid of the return of Team Sky and the peloton. I don’t know what happened behind me."


“This victory is a beautiful emotion and it’s the result of a great physical and mental effort,” he said. “The last five kilometers were the hardest of my life. My legs were tired and I feared that the pursuit group would catch me. When the DS informed me that the lead was increasing, I began to worry about attacks from the leaders. The closer I got to the finish, the more I worried about the gap. I knew I just had to concentrate to maintain a constant rhythm: if I had forced, I risked blowing up. The 500 metres card was a good riddance, I felt like crying. I launched into a break many times in my career and finally I found the right one.”


Surprisingly, De Marchi actually felt much better yesterday but on that occasion the presence of Kevin Seeldraeyers (Astana) who was a GC threat spelled the end of the break's chances.


"It might sound absurd but I had much better legs in the breakaway yesterday," he said. "It’s the circumstances of racing that weren’t favorable. Even today, until 1km to go, I didn’t believe I could win. Mentally, I started the stage in a very relaxed mode. I didn’t have in mind to do anything but slowly, the race turned out to be very interesting for me. I received a great support from my team car. I’m very thankful to them."


De Marchi started his professional career in the Androni team where he was mostly known as a strong time triallist and a constant attacker. He joined the Cannondale team prior to this season and was a key domestique for Peter Sagan in the Amstel Gold Race earlier this year.


"After some good years with Androni Giocattoli, I’ve found at Cannondale what I was missing before," he said. "I’ve stepped up to World Tour level. But I wasn’t sure if I had the legs for winning today."


De Marchi will be part of the Cannondale team at the Tour de France but despite today's win he has no ambitions of a higher position in the team hierarchy.


“This win comes after a good first part of the season," he said. "This is my first year in a World Tour team and many races are still unknown to me. Here at the Dauphiné I wanted test my condition looking ahead for the Tour de France. Day by day the form was better and I decided to play my chances. My role in the team is, and will be, to support the leaders. But when I’m free to have my room, I want to try to exploit it. Today I’m really happy for my personal success but it will be the same at the Tour if I will be able to help Sagan or Moser win."


The win capped off a highly successful race for the Cannondale team as Elia Viviani took another win in stage two. The success comes at an event where the team had lined up with very few ambitions and makes up for a disappointing performance in their big home race, the Giro d'Italia.



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