Giro d’Italia Stage 11: De Marchi on the Attack, Dennis Defends General Classification Position16. maggio 2018, Osimo (ITA) — Road Team
Alessandro de Marchi gave all of his energy to making the breakaway on stage 11 of the Giro d’Italia and came close to taking it to the line, before the General Classification battle ignited which saw Rohan Dennis defend his seventh place overall.
De Marchi launched attack after attack in the opening 30km of the stage in the fight to make the breakaway but the peloton continued to pull every move back before finally, the right combination of De Marchi and Luis Leon Sanchez (Astana Pro Team) established a gap.
The duo were eventually joined by Fausto Masdana (Adroni Giacattoli), Mirco Maestri (Bardiani CSF), and Alex Turrin (Wilier-Triestina), and as the peloton sat up behind, the quintet was able to gain a four-minute advantage.
With a punchy finale and a relatively short 156km stage on the cards, the peloton kept the breakaway under control and slowly started to pull the group back inside the final 80km.
The undulating terrain proved to me too much for Turrin and Maestri, leaving De Marchi, Sanchez, and Masnada in front with 24km to go.
As the peloton picked up their pace once the trio were in sight, De Marchi and Sanchez tried to accelerate again with 5km remaining but were eventually swept up 500m later.
With the race back together, new attacks came from Zdenek Stybar (Quickstep-Floors) and Tim Wellens (Lotto-Soudal) but the blistering pace from the reduced bunch behind saw the duo caught, which allowed Maglia Rosa Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT) to launch the winning move with 2km to go.
Despite a fierce chase, no one could catch Yates who hung on to take the solo win while behind, the steep gradient took its toll.
Dennis was impressive on the climb, with good positioning thanks to Loïc Vliegen, and dug deep to limit his time loss, crossing the line in ninth place, 18 seconds behind Yates, to maintain seventh place on the General Classification.
Quotes From the Finish Line
"It was a big, wide road, which is always a good way to make a breakaway take a long time to go. It wasn't too hard in the peloton, just sitting there. I was sitting at the back, it was pretty flowing and easy. But after that, moving up was quite difficult. The pace was high all day and to get to the front was actually quite hard. Once you were there you had to fight to make sure you didn't lose your spot knowing it was hard to get back up."
"I was feeling good, there was a little crash on the second to last climb and that made me have to go a little deeper than I wanted to. I had to fight to get back a bit. Even with that I was still able to be strong on the final climb and get a top 10. I didn't take time out of the top GC guys, but guys that are going to be a threat to my top 10, I took time out of them, so that's good."
Alessandro De Marchi:
“It was a really fast start and the plan was to try to play our cards. We found the right move and it was a good move I think because the guys were good, were all focused to work and to do the maximum effort. The bunch is always stronger and has the last word. It was good to try.”
“At 20km to go, I had the feeling that maybe it was possible to arrive at the finish. But, then maybe I waited too much on the climb with 10km to go. That was maybe a good moment but there some really fast parts and you need to be with other guys. In the end, I am happy because after yesterday I was a bit disappointed. I had the feelings and the legs, but it’s not enough. You have to have a light mind and be ready to react to everything. Today, it was good to have this kind of reaction. For sure I will try again."
Stage 11 Assisi > Osimo (156km)
Top 3: 1. Simon Yates (Mitchelton-SCOTT), 2. Tom Dumoulin (Team Sky), 3. Davide Formolo (Bora-hansgrohe).
BMC Racing Team top 3: 9. Rohan Dennis, 28. Loïc Vliegen, 79. Alessandro De Marchi