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"I decided to attack to create a breakaway because I thought it was a good chance today. We rode steadily, then at the beginning of the last climb I suffered a little. I decided to proceed with my rhythm and the final result was not ba...

Photo: Sirotti




23.07.2014 @ 23:48 Posted by Emil Axelgaard

Alessandro De Marchi has been one of the most aggressive riders in this year's Tour de France and today his effort finally paid slightly off when he finished an impressive fifth in the queen stage. Having ridden the final climb at his own pace, the Italian was pleased with the outcome.


Stage seventeen of the Tour de France, from Saint-Gaudens to Pla D’Adet above Saint-Lary-Soulan was the shortest road stage of the race at 124.5km. This might have also made it the hardest.


Cannondale Pro Cycling came to the stage with two objectives. Points for Peter Sagan at the intermediate sprint 31km (19.2mi) into the stage, and to shoot for a victory at the end.


Cannondale missed the early move, but they were saving their bullets for the intermediate sprint. The eight-rider breakaway snagged the first spots, then Europcar’s Bryan Coquard beat Sagan for ninth place. This was the first time in days that Coquard narrowed his gap on the Slovakian, but there are still 176 points between Coquard and the Green Jersey.


When the race reached the foot of the day’s first climb, the Col du Portillion, Alessandro De Marchi, demonstrating fine form, crossed to the break with thirteen other riders, including Katusha’s Joaquim Rodriguez, looking for King of the Mountain (KoM) points. Joining De Marchi and Rodriguez was Rafal Majka of Tinkoff-Saxo, leader in the KoM race. 


De Marchi, who had been riding a fairly quiet race in the break, upped his tempo as the kilometers vanished under his tires on the final climb. He wasn’t closing on Majka, but he was dispatching most of the rest.


Then Nibali attacked his group and got away with AG2R’s Jean-Christophe Peraud. The duo caught De Marchi, who latched onto them, and even worked with them to close on Visconti and Majka.


At the line, it was Majka taking his second win of the race. De Marchi hung on to the two general classification riders and finished fifth, his best result of the Tour. It also moved him up to fourth in the race for the Polka Dot Jersey, that of the best climber.


Victory it wasn’t, but affirmation is the next best thing. De Marchi finally saw some fruits to his many mountain labors.


“Today I can say I’m happy. I finished the stage again with the leaders and I had good feeling… I’m satisfied. I decided to attack to create a breakaway because I thought it was a good chance today. We rode steadily, then at the beginning of the last climb I suffered a little. I decided to proceed with my rhythm and the final result was not bad.”



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